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ERC can confirm that the Federation Française de Rugby (FFR) has withdrawn its application to host the 2014 Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup finals, due to the ongoing uncertainty regarding the availability of the Stade de France.
In the 16 seasons in which Scottish teams have taken part in Europe's leading club rugby tournament only once has a team made it through to the quarter-finals. That was back in the 2003/04 season when Todd Blackadder's Edinburgh side finished as runners-up in their Pool.
That team famously beat the reigning champions Toulouse 23-19 at Meadowbank in the opening game of the French giant's defence, but a defeat in France meant a return to the Pink City in the knock-out phase and a 36-10 reverse.
French teams have always been tough hurdles for Scottish sides to clear and this season's epic one-point win over Racing Metro 92 at Murrayfield was Edinburgh's eighth in 29 Heineken Cup ties against Gallic opposition.
Glasgow have six wins in 23 outings against the French, while the now defunct Borders and Caledonian teams managed two wins in 10 games. That leaves the overall Scottish record against the French in the Heineken Cup as: P62 W16 D2 L44.
That's why the Round 5 clash in Paris against Racing Metro 92 is so vital for Laidlaw's men. If they can buck the trend, and make it four wins from five outings, they will have everything to play for at home in the final Pool match.
"The win over the Blues has certainly boosted the confidence of the side and there is no reason we can't go on and win our last two matches. We hadn't beaten the Blues in our previous seven games against them, so to come away with a win in what was a big game for us was fantastic," said Laidlaw.
"Now we've got to go away to France and then take on a good London Irish side at home in our final game. Going down to London and beating Irish in our first game and then beating Racing Metro was massive for our confidence.
"Even though we were disappointed to give away a bonus point to the Blues in the end we are still top of the Pool. We are in a good position and we have our fate in our own hands.
"If you had offered me three wins from our first four matches at the start of the season I'd have bitten off your hand."