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ERC can confirm that the Federation Française de Rugby (FFR) has withdrawn its application to host the 2014 Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup finals, due to the ongoing uncertainty regarding the availability of the Stade de France.
Both Iain Balshaw and Dan Lyle have been sidelined for significant periods with Grade three shoulder AC joint injuries.
Both went underwent surgery on 25 January. Assuming there are no difficulties, Doctors have told club officials that recovery should take around 10 weeks, meaning the duo should be available for selection for Baths' s two-leg PARKER PEN CHALLENGE CUP semi-final against Saracens in April.
And the club know exactly how important it will be to have a player of Balshaw's pedigree back in the starting line-up for the crucial double header.
"Having Iain returning is something we are all hoping will happen. He is absolutely immense. He can make things happen, and he lifts the whole team with his inspirational play," said a club source.
But Bath are strong in the fullback spot, Balshaw's replacement is 36-times capped England international Matt Perry.
And Dan Lyle will be working hard to reclaim his spot in the Bath XV.
Club sources describe a 'real buzz' around the town as the fans prepare for another European adventure.
The Heineken Cup winners of 1998 are 'extremely keen' to do well in the competition that guarantees the winners a spot in the Heineken Cup.
"We take the PARKER PEN CHALLENGE CUP extremely seriously, we'd like to get some silverware thiseseason. Its a cometition the players are really up for," the club source added.
Tickets will go on sale in the forthcoming weeks and will be available on the clubs official website. www.bathrugby.com