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ERC can confirm that the Federation Française de Rugby (FFR) has withdrawn its application to host the 2014 Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup finals, due to the ongoing uncertainty regarding the availability of the Stade de France.
"It has been an ambition and objective of mine during our progression from the Third Division through to the Second and then the Premiership that we would one day play in the Heineken Cup," said the Tykes' Director of Rugby. "And hopefully we will be taken seriously in the Heineken Cup.
"Playing in the Parker Pen tournaments was great for us, particularly our games against Pontypridd, but now it is going to be a huge learning curve because the Heineken Cup is so different from playing domestic rugby - in this competition you have to be a lot more streetwise.
"But, on a personal note - as I was born in the Neath Valley, went to school in the area and grew up in rugby with their coach Lyn Jones - it does make it special having the Ospreys coming here in the opening round.
"The Ospreys have some great players - Scott Gibbs and Gareth Llewellyn to mention just two - while Shane Williams has proved he is in top form. It is sure to be a difficult game for us."
The Tykes' arrival among the cream of Europe also comes with the bonus of being in the same Pool as defending champions Toulouse.
"It is fantastic just to realise that Heineken Cup dream and then to have Toulouse in our Pool is great," said Davies. "They are undoubtedly one of the biggest and best professional rugby clubs in Europe. Toulouse are steeped in Heineken Cup history having won the inaugural Heineken Cup and as current champions."Overall it is a great opportunity for us because we are the first club from our region, Yorkshire, to qualify for the Heineken Cup."