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ERC can confirm that the Federation Française de Rugby (FFR) has withdrawn its application to host the 2014 Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup finals, due to the ongoing uncertainty regarding the availability of the Stade de France.
"All the teams in our group tend to play a similar way. That will be good for the public and should result in some interesting and exciting games," said former All Black prop Dermody.
"We've got an inkling of what Edinburgh are like and we know they like to play a bit. We've got similar styles so that should be an entertaining match up to start.
"The Blues are a team that traditionally go well in European games. Some sides have got a knack of playing well in the Heineken Cup and they've got the mixture right. We go away to them in the second week and if we can get the first game out of the way with a win, we'll go down there with a lot of confidence.
"We played them recently down there and it's very, very similar to where we play, which probably helps. The only thing is that the crowd will be a bit different.
"I don't know too much about Racing Metro but they've got some big-name players. We play them back to back in December and going to France will be a big occasion and a bit of a step into the unknown. That's the beauty of this competition: every year you get to go somewhere different and play different teams.
"It's a fair statement to say that all four teams look pretty even. I think it's going to be down to form on the day, especially with the way the tournament's structured in terms of two-week windows. Obviously injuries will come into it but, with the way our squad's shaping up, hopefully we can peak for those two-week periods."
London Irish have experienced plenty of highs in the Heineken Cup in the past two seasons but those happy memories been accompanied by a greater number of lows.
A stunning victory over reigning champions Leinster in Dublin in the first fixture of the 2009/10 campaign was followed by success against previous winners Munster at the Madejski 12 months later, while Dermody and co have also beaten the likes of the Ospreys and Brive on the big stage.
But Heineken Cup heartache has never been too far away, with Toby Booth's men falling to home and away defeats to both the Scarlets and Toulon as inconsistency scuppered their chances of matching their semi-final berth of 2008.
And with seemingly little to choose between the Exiles, Edinburgh, Racing and the Blues, Dermody knows that winning all three home games - something Irish haven't done in either of the last two campaigns - will be critical to their chances of progression.
"The home games are really important. You'd like to try and win all your home games to try and progress," added Dermody, whose team have been notoriously difficult to beat in Reading in the Aviva Premiership.
"That's how most teams look at it. If you can win your home games and pick up a few points away, that's the way to go about it.
"Every team tries to put an emphasis on their home ground. For us it's a tricky one. You try and make it a hard place to play but the Madejski has really good facilities, has one of the biggest away changing rooms around and the pitch is really good. The best way for us to go about it is to try and make it as hostile as we can through the way we play.
"We let ourselves down last year. We had a really good result against Munster at home but then we let ourselves down away from home. If we can find a bit more consistency in our performances then I think we've got a good chance to get out of the group.
"If we can still have those highs but make sure our bad performances aren't quite as bad as they have been, that will help. It's something that we're away of, it's just a matter of putting it into practice.
"If you ask anyone, the aim is to get out of their group. Last year we made a tough time of it due to our inconsistent performances but if we can get that consistency this year, I see no reason why we can't push to get out of the pool."