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ERC can confirm that the Federation Française de Rugby (FFR) has withdrawn its application to host the 2014 Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup finals, due to the ongoing uncertainty regarding the availability of the Stade de France.
"For us it is the semi-final we dreamed of," said Noves. "We haven't reached this stage of the competition since our catastrophic performance in the spring of 2000 against Munster in Bordeaux. The Irish team hadn't yet reached the level they are at now but even then they showed their potential.
"While Toulouse went to sleep following that defeat, Munster went on the rampage and destroyed all the French teams who stood in their path, even on French soil.
"Two thirds of the Munster team are Irish internationals so they will be a huge obstacle in our way. While Perpignan did very well to beat Llanelli, Munster achieved an enormous feat in beating double Heineken Cup champions Leicester on Sunday - and we know how determined Leicester were to lift the Cup for a third time.
"We have a huge challenge ahead of us, we must get revenge for Bordeaux and become one of the first French teams to beat Munster.
"I can't imagine that the Heineken Cup final will take place in Dublin without an Irish team which is why I think it will be very difficult for Perpignan to beat Leinster.
"That means it is down to us to prevent it being an all-Irish affair and you can rest assured we won't play the way we did three years ago. If Munster get to the final, they will deserve it because they will have to be stronger than us."
And the Heineken Cup semi-finals on 26 / 27 April are aiming to attract a tournament record of over 80,000 fans at Le Stadium de Toulouse and Lansdowne Road - a staggering 60 per cent increase on the crowds at last season's semi-finals.
Leinster Lions clash with Perpignan in Dublin (capacity 49,000) and Toulouse take on Munster in Toulouse (capacity 36,500) in mouth-watering Irish-French showdowns.