Toulouse out of 2018 Challenge Cup

Toulouse Olympique won the Championship Shield in 2017

Championship side Toulouse will not be participating in the 2018 Challenge Cup, the RFL has confirmed.

The reason for the club’s withdrawal is as yet unknown, but it explains an oddity in the numbers with 48 teams set to enter in the first round, the draw for which is to be made on Tuesday.

Toulouse have participated in the Challenge Cup more than 14 times, most famously reaching the semi-finals back in 2005 when they lost to Leeds, having beaten Super League side Widnes in the quarter-finals under Justin Morgan.

Last season, they were knocked out 34-16 at home to Batley.

In 2016, they beat Wath Brow Hornets, Gloucestershire All Golds and surprisingly Leigh, before going down 40-22 to Wakefield.

It means 11 Championship teams will join the draw in round four. The 14 League 1 sides will come in the previous round.

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