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ERC can confirm that the Federation Française de Rugby (FFR) has withdrawn its application to host the 2014 Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup finals, due to the ongoing uncertainty regarding the availability of the Stade de France.
Ireland's Alain Rolland will referee the all-French confrontation of Perpignan and Amlin Challenge Cup first-timers, Toulouse, at Stade Aimé Giral on Friday, 5 April, while the same evening, Pascal Gauzère of France will be in the middle when London Wasps and last season's Heineken Cup winners, Leinster Rugby, go head-to-head at Adams Park.
ERC's quarter-final weekend kicks off on Thursday, 4 April with the meeting of Gloucester Rugby and reigning Amlin Challenge Cup champions, Biarritz Olympique, at Kingsholm where John Lacey of Ireland will be in charge.
The Amlin Challenge Cup referee and assistant referee appointments were announced today (Wednesday, 20 March) following a meeting of the ERC Match Officials sub-committee. The meeting reviewed match official performances across all relevant tournaments in conjunction with feedback from the referee managers in each Union and from club coaching staff.
"We will be asking the match officials to continue to focus on key areas of the game in order to allow a contest for the ball by both teams and to give the ball-carrying team the space to play within the laws," said ERC Match Official Performance Manager, Donal Courtney.
"The officials will be reminded to effectively manage all aspects of the scrum, as well as tackle and ruck situations, in particular where players wilfully go off their feet to prevent a fair contest for the ball. They will also be asked to be strict on issues of foul play, especially dangerous tackles, and to be vigilant for lineout maul obstruction and for players going offside from kicks," added Courtney.
Amlin Challenge Cup quarter-finals
(kick-offs local time)
Thursday, 4 April
Gloucester Rugby v Biarritz Olympique PB, Kingsholm (20.00)
Referee: John Lacey (Ire); Assistant referee 1: Dudley Phillips (Ire); Assistant referee 2: David Wilkinson (Ire)
Friday, 5 April
London Wasps v Leinster Rugby, Adams Park (20.00)
Referee: Pascal Gauzère (Fra); Assistant referee 1: Marius Mitrea (Ita); Assistant referee 2: Neil Hennessy (Wal)
Perpignan v Toulouse, Stade Aimé Giral (21.00)
Referee : Alain Rolland (Ire); Assistant referee 1 : Greg Garner (Eng); Assistant referee 2: Luke Pearce (Eng)
Saturday, 6 April
Bath Rugby v Stade Francais Paris, Recreation Ground (13.00)
Referee: Nigel Owens (Wal); Assistant referee 1: Andrew McMenemy (Sco); Assistant referee 2: Ian Davies (Wal)