Tony Smith would back long-term project for French Rugby League

Tony Smith Hull KR

Hull KR Head Coach Tony Smith believes having two French teams in the Super League is good for the French game, and a nice change from the M62 belt.

Smith was talking in his pre-match press conference prior to their second trip to Toulouse on Saturday. They had previously played there on Easter Monday, and claimed a narrow victory.

The debate around whether or not Toulouse should have been granted an exemption from relegation has rumbled on all season.

Opinion: Should there be promotion and relegation from the Super League?

Smith believes it was always going to be tough for Toulouse to build something successful after one year.

Smith doesn’t see the point in promotion and relegation

He said: “I think some of the people that are against it,  I suppose would have got a point in terms of they don’t bring too much travelling fans to our venues.

“But I think it’s a fantastic setup that they’ve got over there. I think it gives us a different flavour to the M62 belt, and all that sort of stuff.

“I think it’s tough for them to come in and one year and then expect to build something successful. And that’s my only problem with it.

“If it’s gonna be a yo-yo situation of ups and downs, and all that sort of stuff, I don’t think there’s any point to it. Then, we would be better off doing it some other way.

“But, you know, if you asked me Do I think it’s worthwhile if there was a long term view of, you know, having Toulouse in there as a second French team? Yes.

“I think it’d be terrific for French rugby league, but I think it’d be good for Super League as well. But that’s just my opinion.

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4 Comments

  1. Don’t relegate Toulouse don’t make me laugh what about the rough deal Leigh Centurions had last season they should have been given time to build but got relegated no one rule for one and another rule for the French finish bottom go down simple Tony will need to book an Holiday in France if he is that keen on France

    • But nobody (except Leigh) wants Leigh in superleague. It’s just another club from the same area, sharing the same players, and being bankrolled into the competition. Superleague set it to expand the game, not disappear up it’s own backside. Get London back, keep Toulouse, fund Cornwall and Dublin and use the World cup and Channel 4 to promote it. (And get a real world club challenge fixture and internationals every year)

    • I think Leigh were very lucky to be chosen last year to go up into Superleague, why didn’t they pick Toulouse? Was it because they would have been more competitive?

  2. Yes, I agree that we need Toulouse and perhaps two clubs should come up from the Championship to widen the the scope of Superleague. When a club comes up from the championship they are doomed to fail as all of the best players have gone and by the time they get their act together its the end of the season. Also, the better players are less likely to join the side coming up as they know that by the end of the season they will be going back down again. Having a couple of french sides in the league adds both a bit of class and a taste of a different culture. Tony Smith is so correct and Hull KR are going to miss him.

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