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ERC can confirm that the Federation Française de Rugby (FFR) has withdrawn its application to host the 2014 Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup finals, due to the ongoing uncertainty regarding the availability of the Stade de France.
Saturday sees three Heineken Cup Pools come to their conclusion, with the match of the day coming from Stade Ernest Wallon as defending champions Toulouse and surprise packages Edinburgh Rugby contest the Pool 2 title - live on Sky Sports.
The Scots are already through, the first side from that country to ever reach the quarter finals, while Toulouse are well placed to at least be one of the two best runners-up.
Edinburgh are the story of the competition so far, and need to be applauded. It is certainly not the case for us at Sky Sports but I think in the wider media they haven't got the credit they deserve. Maybe that is because they have no `glamour` names but their achievement should be recognised as the next stage in the development of the Heineken Cup.
|Clerc: Toulouse dangerman|
Elsewhere, the Neath/Swansea Ospreys try to avoid finishing the Pool without a point when they entertain Leeds Tykes.
I don't like a team to finish with no points, and so I wouldn't complain if the Ospreys can get something from this match. Leeds have had a good European experience and want to return next year. They are not out of it in the Zurich Premiership, but face a hard task.
I hope it's not the Tykes' last time in the Heineken Cup for a while, but they must use this game as a means of changing their focus back to the Premiership again. A decent display in Wales will be a confidence boost for the final months of the season.
Prediction: I back the Ospreys to get off the mark.
Pool 3 concludes with another `consolation` match for Cardiff Blues as they welcome fellow back-markers Sale Sharks to the Arms Park.
Sale will arrive with a team decimated by injuries. Scrum-half Bryan Redpath and lock Iain Fullarton are both out for the season and fly-half Charlie Hodgson's knee troubles force him to be absent again.
It's a tough time for Jim Mallinder's side, shut-out by an impressive Biarritz Olympique display last week and seemingly lacking ideas behind the scrum. The line-out has been working well, with Chris Jones shining in that area, but all that possession has been squandered with a Hodgson-less back-line failing to fire.
Prediction: Cardiff have been unlucky, coming so close in all their games but only managing to win one of them but I think they could get their second win here. They just need to get things sorted out in the boardroom because they have got the players and the know-how to be a force.
The crucial Pool 3 action comes from the deep south of France, where Leinster Lions take on Biarritz Olympique to decide who progresses as group winners.
It's a tricky test for Leinster - the loss of Brian O'Driscoll hits them hard and would be critical to their chances if this was a semi-final as he is an undoubted match-winner. They have coped OK without him over the last few games, but it's fly-half where they are really struggling.
|Horgan: Biarritz crunch|
Things appear cut and dried in Pool 5, with Munster and Gloucester way out in front and with, on paper, comfortable home wins in prospect over Bourgoin and Benetton Treviso respectively to secure qualification. But, on closer inspection, there is still much to play for.
Level on 19 points going into the final fixtures, it's true that even narrow victories would seal the big two's places in the last eight as pool winner and one of the best runners-up but it's vital to get those four tries for the bonus point.
|Mullins: Munster try hunt|
It's intriguing and either scenario is a thrilling prospect.
Predictions: Gloucester are almost 100 percent to get their bonus point against the Italians, but there's no chance of complacency. Bourgoin could be fired up after the sacking of coach Philippe Saint-Andre, but I think Munster will do it and earn another Thomond quarter final.