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ERC can confirm that the Federation Française de Rugby (FFR) has withdrawn its application to host the 2014 Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup finals, due to the ongoing uncertainty regarding the availability of the Stade de France.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 South-Wales club have lost both of their opening two Heineken Cup matches. A 47-12 defeat at Montferrand in Round 1 was followed by a disappointing 51-10 reverse against Leinster Lions in front of their home fans in Round 2.
But Eales believes the good times are just around the corner.
"John was a huge influence on my career and I have a great deal to thank him for," said the man who played 86 times for Australia, a record 55 of them as skipper.
"There are many good coaches, but John is exceptional. One of the things that sets him apart is his great sense of talent identification. He will see things other people will not see in players and has a great ability to get the best out of them.
"I am aware that things have not been going too well for Swansea, but John is a renowned street fighter and he will look to the sort of people who will want to scrap with him to get the club going."
One of the finest all-round forwards in the history of the game, the man nicknamed Nobody (as in Nobody's perfect), says Connolly will be patient during the rebuilding process and will not be put off by having to work with young and inexperienced players.
"He won't let defeats put him off either," he said.
"Things do not change overnight in rugby. He will put up with some disappointments for a while so long as he is convinced he is making progress - and his record proves that he ultimately gets results.
"Back in 1987 John was in charge of the Brothers club in Sydney when it was given little hope in making any impact. They went on to do tremendously well in the cup, winning several matches on the trot all against more fancied opposition including one side which contained several Wallabies."