7 Jun, 15:39
ERC can confirm that the Federation Française de Rugby (FFR) has withdrawn its application to host the 2014 Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup finals, due to the ongoing uncertainty regarding the availability of the Stade de France.
"No Italian team has won any European title so we are setting realistic goals while respecting our opposition," he said. "We were disappointed to go out of the Challenge Cup, where we both beat and were beaten by Brive, and now we want to go as far as we can in the Parker Pen Shield.
"We would have liked a tougher fixture in the last round to prepare us for Rotherham - as a Zurich Premiership side they are obviously going to be tougher than Madrid - but we want to do Italian rugby proud with two good matches.
"We are third in the Italian Championship and have had a good season so far and we have to have confidence in our own game and not worry about what Rotherham might do.
"We have developed a sound game plan with an attacking edge allied to precision and drive in the forwards. It is a mix we believe means we can compete with most teams.
"Viadana generally play well at home and with two legs it gives us the chance to learn more about our opposition - though right now we probably know more about Rotherham than they do about us."Aside of our home record, I also like to think we are good travelers so hopefully there are going to be two good games."