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ERC can confirm that the Federation Française de Rugby (FFR) has withdrawn its application to host the 2014 Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup finals, due to the ongoing uncertainty regarding the availability of the Stade de France.
"This is wonderful news for Glasgow Rugby, especially coming on the back of the very successful IRB Under 21 World Championship that was held in Scotland last month with excellent support from the Scottish Executive and Glasgow City Council among others," Bill Nolan, Glasgow Rugby's chairman, said in enthusiastically greeting today's announcement. "We look forward to continuing that partnership with the Scottish Executive and Glasgow City Council in utilising Scotstoun's new facilities for Glasgow Rugby in the near future."
Nearly 50,000 spectators were attracted to the under-21 championship matches last month, the total attendance that surpassed the tournament's previous record by more than 17,000. Glasgow grounds hosted 14 of the 30 championship matches, and the final, held at Hughenden, drew an attendance of almost 6000 to see New Zealand retain the title by beating Ireland 47-19.
Glasgow played European matches at Scotstoun Stadium seven years ago, beating Swansea and Ulster there in qualifying for the Heineken Cup knock-out stage in season 1997-98. Thereafter they moved first to Patrick Thistle's ground, Firhill, before settling at their current home, Hughenden.
More recently, David Jordan, Glasgow Rugby's chief executive, and the coaching personnel have been in talks with the City Council over the proposed developments at Scotstoun. Today's news, bringing those discussions closer to fulfilment, means that Glasgow could have the opportunity to move into a purpose-built home at Scotstoun in four or five years' time.
Glasgow Rugby's players are already making good use of Glasgow City Council's new weight-training facilities at the Palace of Arts.