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ERC can confirm that the Federation Française de Rugby (FFR) has withdrawn its application to host the 2014 Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup finals, due to the ongoing uncertainty regarding the availability of the Stade de France.
But league placings alone can be deceptive, especially when you consider that Biarritz began the Top 14 with just one win in 10 games but ended it with six victories in their last eight fixtures.
Throw in their incredible Heineken Cup pedigree that includes eight quarter-finals, three semi-finals and two finals and it becomes clear exactly why Laporte believes the Amlin showpiece will be a hotly-contested affair.
"I don't care about the type of season our opponents have had," said Laporte.
"I know that the success of their season depends on the outcome of this final.
"It's been a difficult season for Biarritz because of the World Cup but now they are a much better side and will be very, very dangerous.
"Personally, I don't care about which team we are playing against. It could have been an English or an Irish team but it will be a fellow French side in Biarritz.
"Biarritz are a very good team but I am sure we are as good as them. It's a 50/50 call as to who will win the trophy."
Facing a side with as much Heineken Cup pedigree as Biarritz in the final of the Amlin Challenge Cup comes as no surprise to Laporte.
His Toulon team have already taken on Amlin champions Harlequins and former double Heineken Cup finalists Stade Francais in the knockout stages and now they go head-to-head with a team who were playing in the continent's showpiece event just two seasons ago.
Gone are the days when the Amlin was viewed as something close to a soft touch: winning Europe's second tier tournament is now nearly as tough as tasting glory in the first.
"Yes, this is the Amlin Challenge Cup but since we reached the knockout stages it's been as tough as the Heineken Cup," added Laporte.
"We beat the Harlequins, who played in this year's Heineken Cup and won the Amlin last year, then we beat Stade Français and everyone knows their level, and now we play Biarritz tomorrow and they were in the Heineken Cup this season, too."
Toulon haven't tasted first-class glory since way back in 1992 yet Laporte insists his side aren't under any extra pressure to end that drought tonight.
Instead, the former France coach believes the extra motivation and the tremendous support he expects in London could work in their favour.
"Toulon haven't won anything in 20 years but we don't feel as though we have all the history of the club on our shoulders. It's always a pleasure when you can win a title for the public, though.
"In the current economic situation people perhaps have a lack of happiness so the winner will give a lot of happiness to their city. Maybe that feeling is a little bit more true for Toulon than Biarritz because people in Toulon are so, so passionate.
"I think we've had a good season so far but it could be even better. I want us to be competitive against Biarritz because it's not every year you get to play in a final. A rugby career is very short so the players need to play with a lot of passion and desire."