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ERC can confirm that the Federation Française de Rugby (FFR) has withdrawn its application to host the 2014 Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup finals, due to the ongoing uncertainty regarding the availability of the Stade de France.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 win boots their chances of a return to Heineken Cup action, as a fifth place finish guarantees a spot in the elite European competition.
Wasps are also eyeing a place in the Heineken through the PARKER PEN CHALLENGE CUP ROUTE. They will face Pontypridd in the semi-final double header in April.
The RFU have stated that English Clubs will qualify for a place in the Heineken Cup (and be ranked) in the following order for the 2003/04 season based on results in the 2002/03 season:
1. Zurich Premiership Final Winner
2. Zurich Premiership Final Runner Up
3. Zurich Premiership Semi final Runner Up
4. Parker Pen Challenge Cup Winner
5. Zurich Wildcard Winner
6. Powergen Cup Winner
7. Zurich Premiership fourth place
8. Zurich Premiership fifth place
If an English club wins the Heineken Cup then they become the top seed and the other rankings will move down one place accordingly.
Wasps have a fine tradition in the Heineken Cup. They have been involved in five seasons, progressing to the quarter-finals in 1997/8 and 1999/00. In 1997/8 they were put out of the competition by cup runners up Brive with a 25-18 home defeat, and they narrowly lost out to eventual champions Northampton with a 25-22 loss at Franklin's Gardens in 2000.