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ERC can confirm that the Federation Française de Rugby (FFR) has withdrawn its application to host the 2014 Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup finals, due to the ongoing uncertainty regarding the availability of the Stade de France.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 four 2004 home quarter-finalists have now confirmed their choice of venues to ERC, the tournament organisers, with Toulouse aiming for the sell-out crowds they attracted to Stadium de Toulouse for both last season's 32-16 quarter-final victory over Northampton Saints and the 13-12 semi-final thriller against Munster.
Llanelli Scarlets, Munster and London Wasps have chosen to remain at their home grounds of Stradey Park, Thomond Park and the Causeway Stadium respectively.
Toulouse could have packed out Stade Ernest Wallon - capacity 19,256 - but have regularly proved they can virtually double that number with eager fans by playing their knock-out Heineken Cup matches at 'Le Stadium' and maximising all aspects of their big day.
"Playing at Le Stadium allows a lot more people to take part in the event and the whole day - for us it is a case of the more who can come to the party the merrier," said Guy Noves, the Toulouse head coach.
"We can almost double the capacity at Le Stadium and we feel it is our chance to reward our supporters, of giving something back to them by enabling so many more people to come to the match. And it is also better to play in front of a bigger crowd, it gives the players greater motivation and atmosphere."
The confirmed dates, kick-off times (all LOCAL times), venues, capacities and television coverage of the 2004 Heineken Cup quarter-finals:
FRIDAY 9 APRIL
19.45 Llanelli Scarlets v Biarritz Olympique Stradey Park (10,800) Sky / Sport+
SATURDAY 10 APRIL
16.00 Toulouse v Edinburgh Rugby Stadium de Toulouse (36,500) FR2 / Sky
17.00 Munster v Stade Franà§ais Paris Thomond Park (13,257) RTE / Sky / Sport+
SUNDAY 11 APRIL
15.00 London Wasps v Gloucester
Causeway Stadium (10,000) Sky / Sport+