ERC can confirm that the Federation Française de Rugby (FFR) has withdrawn its application to host the 2014 Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup finals, due to the ongoing uncertainty regarding the availability of the Stade de France.
The Harlequins, who fell to the Heineken Cup curse last season when they were beaten at the quarter-final stage after ending their Pool as the No 1 seed, are relishing the challenge of having to face two French clubs next season.
Reigning Heineken Cup champions, Toulon, have been drawn in Pool 2 of the 2013/14 tournament and will face Cardiff Blues, Glasgow Warriors and Exeter Chiefs when the new European club rugby season kicks off next October.
They all agreed the 18th Heineken Cup final was one of the most physical and absorbing of all-time and the media were still shaking their heads in disbelief at how ASM Clermont Auvergne failed to win in Dublin.
Jonny Wilkinson (Toulon) has been named ERC European Player of the Year 2013. The prestigious award crowns an outstanding season for the out-half who led the French club to a dramatic Heineken Cup final victory over ASM Clermont Auvergne at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.