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ERC can confirm that the Federation Française de Rugby (FFR) has withdrawn its application to host the 2014 Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup finals, due to the ongoing uncertainty regarding the availability of the Stade de France.
Leinster Lions will be stepping into the unknown when they meet Perpignan at a packed Lansdowne Road on Sunday, 27 April in their bid to reach their first Heineken Cup final.
Biarritz Olympique fell at Lansdowne Road in the quarter-finals and Irish centre Brian O'Driscoll declared: "It was fantastic playing a club game in front of that crowd and hopefully we'll have that again for the semi-final.
"Biarritz are a fantastic side but I don't really know much about Perpignan. We'll have to analyse what they have done to date in the tournament, but I'm just glad we've got through to the semis. I thought the dream was over in the last few minutes when the Biarritz centre broke through, but Girvan Dempsey came up with a great tackle and we were able to hang on."
Coach Matt Williams added: "Perpignan are a good hard side and they will present a different challenge to Biarritz. Manny Edmonds was very good for them against Llanelli and he's obviously a key player for them.
"I thought the crowd were magnificent at Lansdowne Road but it was hard for us to play the rugby they wanted to see. It really was a new experience for us as a team."
However, Biarritz coach Laurent Rodriguez believes Perpignan can succeed where his side failed.
"We knew how good they were but I thought it would be more difficult for us.
"Brian O'Driscoll was very dangerous but I think Perpignan will be a totally different challenge for them, and I think Leinster could suffer. The Perpignan pack is big and aggressive.
"The Leinster three-quarters will find it easier than against us today, because our defence was quite good."