Sylvain Houles: It’s important we keep the squad together in Championship

Sylvain Houles Toulouse Olympique SWpix
Photo: Ed Sykes/SWpix

Toulouse coach Sylvain Houles is confident of keeping the majority of his squad together in 2023 despite suffering relegation back to the Championship.

Just three days after their relegation had been confirmed, the French club put out a patched-up side and were beaten 38-12 at Hull on Sunday afternoon.

Houles was proud of his side’s spirit and fight as they came back into the contest in the second half at the MKM Stadium.

He said: “We know our destiny now. We just want to make sure we finish giving a good account of ourselves and playing with spirit.

“It wasn’t quite there in the first half but at half-time we fixed up a few things and we played with plenty of fight.”

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Sylvain Houles want to keep bulk of his squad together

Toulouse, who will remain full-time in the Championship next season, will bid farewell to five plays at the end of this season.

France international prop Justin Sangare is joining Leeds, while Andrew Dixon and Joseph Paulo will also depart the club.

Wales international Lloyd White looks likely to retire due to injury. Australian prop forward Mitch Garbutt is heading to St Gaudens as a player-coach in French Elite 1

“There should be a good core of the team playing today that will be there next season,” Houles said.

“It’s very important to try and keep the squad together.

“It’s been a disappointing season but we’ve learned a lot and we know what to expect now as a group.

“We faced plenty of adversity right from the beginning but the boys have turned up every week and fought hard. I knew we’d do that today and we’ll do it again next week. We never give up, which is something we can be proud of.”

Toulouse travel to champions St Helens in their final game of the Super League season on Saturday.

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About Drew Darbyshire 8320 Articles
Love Rugby League Deputy Editor. Joined the site ahead of the 2017 World Cup and been a full-time reporter since 2018.

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