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ERC can confirm that the Federation Française de Rugby (FFR) has withdrawn its application to host the 2014 Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup finals, due to the ongoing uncertainty regarding the availability of the Stade de France.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 Heineken Cup quarter-finalists finished top of Pool 1, a status which grants an automatic place in next season's pinnacle competition. They follow hot on the heels of Agen who gained entry to the Heineken Cup 2003/4 two weeks ago.
The major casualty from this weekend's final round of Pool matches was French heavyweight Montferrand.
The Vulcans were in a winner-takes-all clash with Grenoble, and were expected to pull themselves out of trouble at a last-ditch attempt, as they have done in previous seasons.
**Click here for the latest tables...
But with on-form Grenoble also vying for a precious play-off spot, the job was never going to be easy and the Alpine team won with a Nicolas Carmona penalty goal in the final minutes of the game.
Elsewhere, Pau won at Mont-de-Marsan, propelling the PARKER PEN SHIELD semi-finalists into the play-offs and Bourgoin beat Stade Francais to claim the eighth play-off spot.
Now the clubs enter into the knock-out phases of the French championship - with four clubs places still up for grabs.
Those clubs involved in the play-downs will be competing for their status at the top tier.