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ERC can confirm that the Federation Française de Rugby (FFR) has withdrawn its application to host the 2014 Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup finals, due to the ongoing uncertainty regarding the availability of the Stade de France.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 Italian club clash with Leonessa in the two legs of the semi-final in April lifted by their one-point triumph over Rotherham Titans in the quarter-finals.
"To win a tie over an English side is important for all of Italian rugby but we have still got a long way to go in Europe," he said.
"It is like a staircase where you literally have to take one step at a time but the players are learning how much preparation is the key to success.
"We knew it would be difficult to go and get a win in Rotherham but we were more angry with ourselves for letting them back into the game in the first leg. We threw away a number of opportunities in that game and last Saturday we just had to concentrate on our own game and on winning the match.
"On the day, I think we played the better rugby and it would have been unfair if we had not gone through.
"Now we have a two-leg tie with another Italian team who we need to respect like any other semi-finalist.
"We would love to win the title but it would be wrong to talk about that before getting to that stage.
"There are plenty of examples of teams doing that in rugby then coming unstuck.
"I am very pleased with the Italian players in our squad. We have some foreign players who have made a big contribution to the season but the Italian players have progressed enormously. They had a season in the Heineken Cup last year which was hugely beneficial and they have worked hard on the technical and physical side to their game.