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ERC can confirm that the Federation Française de Rugby (FFR) has withdrawn its application to host the 2014 Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup finals, due to the ongoing uncertainty regarding the availability of the Stade de France.
France will have a PARKER PEN SHIELD finalist at the Madejski Stadium on Sunday, 25 May - with Castres Olympique taking a commanding 29-point lead into their semi-final second leg domestic showdown at Pau on Friday night.
But Castres Olympique flanker Romain Froment believes his side must go for the win at Stade du Hameau and forget about that first leg advantage.
"We are delighted with our performance and in particular the score after the first leg," he said.
"But we know that we are not in the final yet and we must go to Pau and try to get a win - or at least to contain the scoreline.
"Pau are a good team and they will want to turn over the first leg result. We will try to play a different game from the first leg where we tried to run the ball and score a lot of points.
"This time we are going to Pau, it is up to them to try and produce play and we will be trying to stop that."
And Philippe Carbonneau, the Pau captain, refuses to accept that the two-leg semi-final is done and dusted.
"There is no reason we can't turn around the result of the first leg," said the international scrum half.
"We were missing a couple of players at Castres and, given the large score two weeks ago, we will be hoping for the same kind of match - only with the score in our favour when we meet again in Pau.
"Our supporters will, hopefully, be there to help us, as they have been all season.
"Nothing is lost to us yet and it's up to us now to catch up for the points difference."
But David Aucagne says his team need to gain some consistency during the return match.
"It is vital that we get back to winning ways," said the international fly half.
"We have been very inconsistent during our recent matches, producing excellent passages and then disappearing for periods.
"We did that against Toulouse on Saturday - and against Castres two weeks ago.
"We can make up for that loss if we produce a complete match from beginning to end. This competition is very important to us and we will do everything to claw back the advantage on Friday.
"Castres are a very good team and they have also made the PARKER PEN SHIELD an objective too so they will be coming to Pau to hold onto their advantage."