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ERC can confirm that the Federation Française de Rugby (FFR) has withdrawn its application to host the 2014 Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup finals, due to the ongoing uncertainty regarding the availability of the Stade de France.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 match at Stade Jacques Chaban-Delmas in Bordeaux, between reigning Heineken Cup champions Toulouse and Biarrtiz Olympique, has also reached its full capacity of 34,000.
It means there will be a record 82,000 fans - an 11% increase on last year's record breaking figures - watching the two semi-finals live, with millions more enjoying the action on Sky Sports, RTE, France Televisions, Sport + and Sky Italia.
"Our job at ERC is to provide the stage on which the gladiators can perform and we have two great games in prospect this weekend, both played out infront of full houses," said ERC chief executive Derek McGrath.
"The winners will take all, with a place in the Heineken Cup final at Twickenham on Sunday, 23 May at stake. The only tickets that remain are the 25,000 which are earmarked for the two finalists.
> Meanwhile, there will be another sell-out occasion in Ireland for the second leg of the Parker Pen Challenge Cup semi-final between Connacht and NEC Harlequins in Galway. The Sportsground will have a capacity 6,000 fans packed in for the first time since Connacht met the then world champion Wallabies there in 1992.
Montferrand's second leg Parker Pen Challenge Cup semi-final against Bath Rugby at Parc des Sport Marcel-Michelin is also filling up fast for Saturday's 1pm kick-off. So far more than 8,000 of the 12,835 tickets have been sold.