ERC have had to 'regrettably accept' the withdrawal from the European Shield of the Portuguese club AA Coimbra.
As a result, ERC have had to cancel both legs of the Round 1 fixture due to be played between AA Coimbra and GRAN Rugby next month.
The two teams were due to meet in Portugal in the Round 1 First Leg on the weekend of 3/4/5 December, with the second leg in Italy a week later.
Despite the assistance of the IRB, FIRA-AER and the Portuguese Rugby Federation, ERC was unable to receive the necessary commitment to the tournament from AA Coimbra to ensure their participation in the European Shield.
In their second season in European competition, AA Coimbra were their nation's sole representatives in the European Challenge Cup and moved into the European Shield after facing The Borders in the first round of the European Challenge Cup over two legs in October.
The ERC board are due to meet in Dublin next week and will consider AA Coimbra's resignation from the European Shield Round 1 fixture, which is a breach of the participation agreement the club signed.
As part of the build-up to next month's Cardiff 2014 Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup finals weekend, ERC has joined forces with the WRU, Cardiff Blues and adidas to develop an annual grassroots community rugby programme targeting young players.
The Ulster Rugby full back, Jared Payne (No 15), has been suspended for two (2) weeks following an independent Disciplinary Hearing in Dublin arising from the Heineken Cup quarter-final match against Saracens at Ravenhill Stadium on Saturday, 5 April.