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ERC can confirm that the Federation Française de Rugby (FFR) has withdrawn its application to host the 2014 Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup finals, due to the ongoing uncertainty regarding the availability of the Stade de France.
Saracens won 82-5 at Vicarage Road to earn a match-up with Scottish province Glasgow. They ran in 12 tries - including two to Castaignede - and the French wizard converted all but one of them for the third highest individual tally in Challenge Cup history.
The Saracens backline ran in tries at will, with winger Darren O'Mahony, centre Denis Cech and fullback Adryan Winnan all scoring braces. Not to behind, three frontrowers - Simon Sparks, Robbie Russell and Raphael Ibanez - also dotted down. South African fullback Marius Goosen scored the visitors' only points.
London Irish Mark Mapletoft scored 13 first-half points to push his side towards a hard-fought 36-24 victory over French club Montauban, who won the
first-leg clash between the two sides. The English club advance on points difference to play Narbonne, with Montauban also going through to the Cup
section as they join Beziers as "lucky losers".
London Irish fullback Michael Horak scored a try in each half, while Canadian international backrower Phil Murphy also dotted down in the first 40 at the
Italian side Viadana upset French rivals Brive 38-22, but Brive go through to the Challenge Cup side of the draw after their first-leg 39-3 victory.
Former England winger Tom Beim scored two tries for Viadana, with South African Casper Steyn adding 18 points with the boot. Opposite number Sebastien Laloo slotted five penalty goals at regular intervals to keep his side on target to advance to the Cup section.
Harlequins romped to an 11-try victory over Cetransa El Salvador at the Stoop to waltz into the second round of the Parker Pen Challenge Cup tournament.
The young Spanish side caused a few early problems for the hot favourites, but a try to Harlequins' big Samoan winger George Harder on the half-hour opened the floodgates and the English club led 29-3 at the break.
They scored a further six tries in the second half, including doubles to centre Chris Bell and Gavin Duffy, and could have approached the 80-point mark if fly-half Andy Dunne had brought his kicking boots to the Stoop.
The home pack were far too powerful for the small Spanish side, with backrower Kai Horstmann enjoying a free rein to earn man-of-the-match honours in the 63-3 win.
The victory pits Harlequins against one of the 'lucky losers' in the first round of the Parker Pen Challenge Cup. Two of the 14 losing sides from this weekend join the 14 winners in the Cup tournament, with the rest moving into the Shield contest.
Bath followed up last weekend's 64-point victory at L'Aquila with a comfortable 50-0 win at the Recreation Ground.
In-form fly-half Olly Barkley scored 22 points - including two tries - as the home side ran in eight tries in the one-sided contest. England's World Cup
stars Iain Balshaw and Mike Tindall were among the scorers, while big prop Matt Stevens added a try to the hat-trick he scored in Italy last weekend.
In Italy, Petrarca Rugby held French heavyweights Colomiers to a 12-8 lead at halftime, but two tries to visiting winger Farid Sid ended Petrarca's
resistance and his side romped to a 38-20 victory.
The victory earns Colomiers a tough match against Bath.
Beziers beat Connacht at the Galway Sportsground, but the Irish side advance to the Challenge Cup on points difference.
French backrower Yannick Nyanga scored the crucial try in his side's 13-11 victory, but it wasn't enough to overturn their first-round 10-18 loss.
Home fullback Mark McHugh scored Connacht's try and added a penalty goal, but the narrow result means Beziers are likely to also go through to the Cup section as a 'lucky loser', probably in a match-up against Harlequins.
All four French clubs in Saturday action have qualified for the Parker Pen Challenge Cup Round 2 with comfortable victories.
Montferrand took an unbeatable 55-point advantage into their home match against Italian side Leonessa and doubled it with a 58-3 win over the Italian minnows.
International winger Aurelien Rougerie and fullback Sebastien Viars both bagged a double as the French club ran in nine tries, with Leonessa's New Zealand-born Italy fly-half Rima Wakarua replying with a solitary penalty goal.
Castres Olympique demolished Rugby Rovigo 75-10, scoring 11 tries and converting 10 of them. Fly-half Romain Teulet kicked eight out of nine before
handing over the kicking duties, with scrum-half Nicolas Morlaes scoring a brace of tries.
Pau fly-half David Aucagne kicked four goals in his side's 25-6 home win over Rugby Parma to earn a first-round Cup clash with Irish side Connacht, while
Grenoble consigned GRAN Rugby to the Shield tournament with a 41-6 victory in a match that saw six yellow cards brandished.