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ERC can confirm that the Federation Française de Rugby (FFR) has withdrawn its application to host the 2014 Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup finals, due to the ongoing uncertainty regarding the availability of the Stade de France.
French star Thomas Castaignede is confident of still being actively involved when the quarter-finals are staged in January, 2003.
But he is also expecting a frosty welcome when he returns "home" with Saracens for the second leg of their Round 2 showdown with Colomiers, Saracens travelling with a 10-points advantage after winning 16-6 at Vicarage Road.
Castaignede used to play for Colomiers' most local of local rivals Toulouse and the 27-year-old said: 'It would be nice to think I'll get a warm reception from the Colomiers fans - but I don't think that will happen. The rivalry between them and Toulouse is legendary and they never forget the fact that you have played for Toulouse.
'I'll just have to ignore the supporters and get on with my job. It will be tough but having the 10-point lead helps and it should be enough to see us through.'
And the 38-times capped French maestro has urged his side not to repeat the Jekyll & Hyde performance they produced in the first leg game against the 1999 Heineken Cup finalists.
'We were outstanding in the first half,' said Castaignede. 'But it was a completely different performance from us in the second-half. We seemed to lose concentration and dropped far too many balls - and they came back into the game as a result.
'They didn't score one point in that first half but you only have to look at the score to see we have given them a chance with that performance in the last 40 minutes.
'It's a hard place to go and I'll be telling the team that. But we will try our best and see what we can do.
'The game on Saturday will be tough - but not as tough as Saturday night. I'm planning to see some friends and it should be a good evening...I only hope I'm celebrating a victory and not drowning my sorrows.'