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ERC can confirm that the Federation Française de Rugby (FFR) has withdrawn its application to host the 2014 Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup finals, due to the ongoing uncertainty regarding the availability of the Stade de France.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 Kingsholm match could see the Robinson brothers Jamie and Nicky lining up against each other with Agen centre Jamie Robinson adamant the French club will give it their best shot.
"It is not over yet - though perhaps you have to assume that La Rochelle are going to beat Rovigo in Round 6," said Robinson. "But we need to get our season back on track and we are going to try and do that by going to Gloucester and winning.
"French teams now take the Amlin Challenge Cup very seriously and the away games are equally important as the home games and we will be going there trying to get a result.
"The European campaigns are massive for British clubs, it's their main goal and their whole season is based around Europe. The Top 14 is huge in France but the clubs now see the rewards that European games can bring as well in terms of press coverage and the publicity for their clubs from playing well in Europe, not to mention the benefit for the players' performance.
"It is possible that British players who have moved might have had an influence on how the European tournaments are perceived here. They are such a big factor in the season that when UK players come to France they bring that spirit with them.
"And also the squads have improved in France and obviously with more money over here the squads are a lot better than they were. They not only have better players but they also have more of them so they can afford to rest a few and still have a very good team both for the Top 14 and in Europe.
"Now we have got nothing to lose against Gloucester and we can use that to get our season back on track and start winning again. The guys want to go out there and play for their places.
"We beat Gloucester in Round 1 so we know we do stand a chance against them and we will use that knowledge to build our confidence. I believe the keys to beating them would probably have to be in stopping their driving line-out and being very aggressive in defence.
"We saw that with La Rochelle when they went to Kingsholm, when they were very aggressive, and if can stop them going forward it's going to make things a lot easier for us because they certainly have a big pack of forwards that they like to use.
"They also use guys like Mike Tindall and other big ball carriers to go forward so we have got to prevent them from gaining territory from the start.
"And we are not scared of their players. When we played back in the Round 1 of the Amlin no-one really gave us a chance. We had lost quite a few games in the Top 14 and at the time Gloucester were playing very well in the English premiership.
"But we succeeded and that game was a turning point in our season. We played really well and to get a win out of the game was massive for us.
"So we are going to go there and give everything we've got and do what we can. It is important for us at the very least to put in a great performance. I will explain a few things about the Shed to the players and give them a bit of background information from my own experience.
"I know it is going to be a great atmosphere there, similar to those you see when you go to Castres or Clermont, so it won't be anything new to the players but definitely a good experience."