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ERC can confirm that the Federation Française de Rugby (FFR) has withdrawn its application to host the 2014 Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup finals, due to the ongoing uncertainty regarding the availability of the Stade de France.
The groin injury picked up by Sam Vesty midway through last Saturday's win at Gwent Dragons sees Steve Booth switch from right wing to the No.15 shirt.
Fit-again Ollie Smith, in the week that he was named in the England training squad, fills the vacated wing slot after recovering from the concussion picked up against Ulster in Belfast three weeks ago.
Another player to return from injury is England lock Ben Kay, who takes the place of Louis Deacon after missing the 26-20 victory in Newport with a knee injury.
A number of players have shaken off knocks to resume their place in the side, including the Tuilagi brothers, Henry and Freddie, who have not trained during the week in a bid to make kick-off.
Richards also stated that there is an outside chance utility back Austin Healey could be fit in time for the match, after leaving the field two weeks ago against Ulster with a leg injury.
The director of rugby said going into the game that Tigers should not take their 'favourites' tag too seriously, despite their recent turnaround in form.
"People are making us favourites because of our last two wins, but they must remember that Stade Francais have a star-studded side and, in Nick Mallett, one of the best coaches in world rugby," he said.
"They contributed a large number of players to the world cup, and that is a measure of how good they are. It should be a great game, and they are at virtually full strength."
While various permutations come into play in deciding seedings in the last eight of the Heineken Cup, the simple fact is that the winner of Friday's game goes through to the quarter finals and the loser does not.
With this in mind, Richards insisted: "It's the biggest game of the season and is very much like a cup final for us. We have to win it."
Richards also heaped praise on the midfield duo of Glenn Gelderbloom and Leon Lloyd, who have played so well after coming in to cover for injury victims Ollie Smith and Daryl Gibson in the last two matches.
"I've been delighted with the contribution of Glenn and Leon over the last few weeks," he said.
"I've always said that Glenn is one of the most underestimated players in our squad, and he's been a great servant in never letting the side down.
"Leon has just got better and better. He's working hard and is now
Leicester Tigers: S Booth; O Smith, G Gelderbloom, L Lloyd, F Tuilagi; J van der Westhuyzen, H Ellis; G Rowntree, S Vesty, D Morris, M Johnson, B Kay, W Johnson, N Back (capt), H Tuilagi
Replacements: J Richards, R Nebbett, L Deacon, M Corry, W Skinner, R Pez, L Myring,
Stade Francais: I Corleto; J Hernandez, S Glas, B Liebenberg, C Dominici; D Dominguez, A Pichot; S Marconnet, M Blin, P De Villiers, D Auradou (capt), A Marchois, C Moni, P Rabadan, P Tabacco
Replacements: B August, B Mololo, J Bado, R Jechoux, R Poulain, D Skrela, G Mahe,
Referee: Alain Rolland (Ireland)