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ERC can confirm that the Federation Française de Rugby (FFR) has withdrawn its application to host the 2014 Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup finals, due to the ongoing uncertainty regarding the availability of the Stade de France.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 draw, made at the Six Nations Championship offices in Dublin yesterday (11th November) mean the semi-finals on the first weekend in January, 2003, will be played at either Thomond Park, Galway Sportsground, Sardis Road or The Gnoll.
The decision of the Celtic League Association to stage the semi-finals at genuine home grounds, rather than neutral venues in the country of those teams drawn at home, should maximise attendances with 'home' supporters not forced to travel 'away,' albeit in their own country.
CELTIC LEAGUE 2002 / 2003 SEMI-FINAL DRAW
* The winners of the Pontypridd v Neath quarter-final will have home advantage in the semi-finals against the winner of the Edinburgh Rugby v Cardiff quarter-final
* The winners of the Munster v Connacht quarter-final will have home advantage in the semi-finals against the winner of the Glasgow Rugby v Ulster quarter-final
The semi-finals will be played at the home grounds of either Munster or Connacht and either Pontypridd or Neath on 3 / 4 January, 2003
CELTIC LEAGUE 2002/03 - SEMI-FINALS
(To be played 3 / 4 January, 2003)
Munster or Connacht v Glasgow Rugby or Ulster
Pontypridd or Neath v Edinburgh Rugby or Cardiff
Meanwhile, Celtic League organisers have revealed that a 'Golden Point' method - similar to football's 'Golden Goal' - will be used to settle any tied matches in the competition.
The ruling will operate with immediate effect and will initially be used to settle any tied quarter-final.