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ERC can confirm that the Federation Française de Rugby (FFR) has withdrawn its application to host the 2014 Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup finals, due to the ongoing uncertainty regarding the availability of the Stade de France.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 1998 European champions have been perilously close to the foot of the table, and, under English rules, had they been relegated for the top flight they would have been unable to compete in European competitions.
But the victory means a place at Europe's top table is still attainable if they can clinch victory in the PARKER PEN CHALLENGE CUP final at the Madejski Stadium on May 25. Bath take on fellow English side London Wasps, with the winner awarded a spot in next season's Heineken Cup.
The tournament assumes special significance to Bath whose lowly league position does not grant automatic qualification to next year's competition.
Wasps, who lie second in the Zurich Premiership table, are sure of a place in next years Heineken Cup, but they had their 10-match wining streak broken by Harlequins in a 21-25 defeat at Adams Park.
The build up to the final will now begin in earnest. ercurgby.com will be web casting the match live, click 'Broadcast centre' for details.