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ERC can confirm that the Federation Française de Rugby (FFR) has withdrawn its application to host the 2014 Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup finals, due to the ongoing uncertainty regarding the availability of the Stade de France.
"Thomond Park is the ultimate challenge in European competition so our intensity levels will have to be really high," said Limerick-born O'Shea who won 35 Irish caps and played his club rugby with Leinster and London Irish.
"The players are really excited about the prospect of a European semi-final and this is certainly a big match for us.
"All I can ever ask of my team is that they give everything to the performance - then it's simply a case of the best men win so we will see what happens.
"This is all about Harlequins playing in a semi-final rather than about me. Obviously I always enjoy going home and I will look forward to taking the team there as I would for any big occasion. We are all looking forward to it immensely.
"Harlequins have won this competition twice before but it is now harder than ever to win because the introduction of the Heineken Cup teams has taken it to another level.
"If you just look at the semi-finalists of the Amlin, none of them would look out of place gracing the last four of the Heineken Cup.
"We've experienced it all in the Amlin Challenge Cup this season. We were virtually flooded in Bayonne and they were bailing hay in the snow at Connacht but this has been a great competition to be involved with."
And as a former Leinster player O'Shea knows all about the mental and physical demands of playing Munster on their own patch and is in ideal position to pass on that knowledge to Chris Robshaw and his team.
"I have always thought of Thomond Park and Munster as the heart and soul of Irish rugby," said O'Shea. "The reason Ireland turned the corner at international level was because the guys from Munster started to win in Europe on a regular basis. That provided the spine and humour of the Ireland team.
"And I know it's going to be a great occasion. The crowd there are very knowledgeable, incredibly passionate and very loud."
Harlequins have only won one of their six previous European contests with Munster, winning 48-40 at the Twickenham Stoop in the 1997 / 1998 Heineken Cup, and have struggled on the road in the Premiership this season.
Quins have won just one of their 10 Premiership away games, though five of the eight defeats - they drew at London Wasps on the opening day of the season - have been by seven points or less.
"Our away record has not been great this season and we have lost quite a few games by just one score, which has been very disappointing. But on our day we know we can be a very, very difficult team to beat and can challenge anyone.
"We have sat down and committed to a style of rugby that we believe suits us and will make as a very strong team for the future."