The plan is to fly through the Championship: Toulouse & the pain of relegation

Toulouse Olympique relegated Sylvain Houles SWpix
Photo: Paul Currie/SWpix

The mood at Toulouse “hasn’t been good” since their relegation back to the Championship but the French club remains determined to bounce straight back into Super League.

That’s the view of Olympique winger Matty Russell who admits it is sad to see the club’s huge effort in building to play in Super League “taken away” after just one season.

The French side will slip straight back into the second tier after just one season in the top flight, but the club’s hierarchy are already planning for an immediate return to ensure their absence is no longer than one year. 

“We have had a real dig this year and it has been tough,” said Russell, who may now leave the club this winter.

“I won’t lie, the last week hasn’t been good, everyone has been down but we are here to do a job so are turning up to train and trying to keep a smile on our face.

“It has been up and down and it is tough as some of these lads are local to Toulouse and have had a desire to play Super League all their lives.”

BRAVE: Matty Russell opens up on personal fight: I couldn’t see how bad it had got

Toulouse determined to come straight back up

Toulouse staged a mini-revival in the final third of the season but were unable to capitalise on temporarily leapfrogging Wakefield. Trinity instead finished strongly to preserve their Super League status.

Russell says he especially feels for the head coach Sylvain Houles; and believes more support should have been afforded the club to prevent them going straight back down.

“The coach has dreamt to coach Super League so to see that taken away from him is quite sad,” Russell told the Love Rugby League Podcast. “I’m sure the club and the team will build for next year.

“There is a lot of desire on next year and the club are moving forward to bounce straight back up.

“I’ve already spoken to the CEO and the coach. Their ambition is just to fly through the Championship and get a really good strong team to come back up. “

PODCASTMatty Russell opens up on overcoming gambling and alcohol demons & how Toulouse have reacted to Super League relegation

FOLLOW: Keep up with all the latest on the Love Rugby League mobile app and podcast


    • Check out this guy.
      Toulouse got more supporters in their stadium than multiple teams in the league this season. Clubs like Salford bring in an embarrassingly low number of supporters and continue to hold back the league. They’re in the semi final and still bringing in lowest-in-the-league supporter numbers. Embarrassing.
      It’s not a crowbar job like Toronto where it is trying too hard to shoehorn in a team. Toulouse come from an area which plays the sport and the team relies on outside players no more or less than a number of other teams. If everyone is OK with Leigh being bankrolled by their owner (they literally would not be able to survive at their current position without him) and bringing in an obscene amount of players that is far exceeding what the majority of the other Championship clubs can do, then you have to be OK with Toulouse as well.
      It’s quicker to get to France than some places in the UK but if you want to cry about it so much then go ahead. If a team like Toulouse, who reached Super League at a relatively slow trot over a number of years, is able to achieve that and that brings distaste to you because your team maybe can’t do that, then the questions should be aimed towards your team and why they can’t do it, not at the team which can. Too many teams are tredding water or sinking and then complaining that they are being left in other team’s wakes when they themselves do very little to better their own position whilst expecting others to better them, and that is one of the major issues with rugby league at the moment.

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