Toulouse handed path to Super League

Toulouse do not have to meet the Championship on-field criteria to apply for Super League in 2012, according to newspapers reports.

To be eligible to apply for a Super League licence, clubs must either appear in a Championship Grand Final or win the Northern Rail Cup, with Barrow, Halifax and Widnes the three clubs satisfying the criteria in 2009.

However, a report in Monday’s Rugby Leaguer & League Express newspaper states that Toulouse’s bid does not have to be backed up by a Grand Final appearance, and that this has been confirmed by the RFL.

It conflicts the statement issued by the RFL when the French side joined the league at the beginning of 2009, where it was stated that Toulouse had to quality for the application process in the same way as English clubs in the second tier.

A Toulouse spokesman has indicated that the club was aware they wouldn’t have to satisfy the on-field criteria when they entered the league just over 12 months ago.

The French side do not compete in the Northern Rail Cup, and they opened up their league campaign with a 26-22 win over Dewsbury yesterday.

Toulouse finished 10th last season, a relegation spot, but were reprieved owing to their three year exemption from relegation. Leigh, who finished 9th, were instead relegated, before being reinstated in place of Gateshead, who hit financial troubles.

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