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ERC can confirm that the Federation Française de Rugby (FFR) has withdrawn its application to host the 2014 Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup finals, due to the ongoing uncertainty regarding the availability of the Stade de France.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 English club took an early 13-3 lead with tries to backrowers John Carter and Pierre Caillet, and further five-pointers to centre Chris Mayor and winger James Moore helped them to a match-winning 26-3 lead at halftime.
Three further tries - including a second to Mayor - gave Sale a convincing 47-point victory, with outside-half Mike Hercus scoring one try and kicking 15 points. The Sharks play "lucky loser" Narbonne in the next round.
In today's other match, London Irish put Auch to the sword at Madejski Stadium to earn a second-round match against powerful French club Pau.
Outside-half Mark Mapletoft scored a try and kicked five conversions as the home side took a daunting 35-6 lead at the break. London Irish took their foot off their opponents' throat in the second half - adding only one further try and conceding two to record a 42-18 victory.
Catania and Auch join 14 other teams in the second-tier European Shield competition. The draw for the first round will be made in Dublin tomorrow (MON).