Toulouse inclusion key to international development

Toulouse’s possible inclusion in the re-structured Super League would see them join the league in the second tier.

The desire to get Toulouse back in to the system – they previously played in the Championship for three years between 2009-11 – was heightened following Catalan’s on the road game against Hull KR in Toulouse earlier this season, which attracted 14,000 fans.

Speaking at a Q&A session on the Policy Review, the RFL’s chief operating officer Ralph Rimmer said: “We have spoken to Toulouse and I’ve been over to see them a few times. To get 14,000 to watch Catalan v Hull KR was a fantastic occasion.

“We have spoken to potential broadcast partners and the French Federation, and entry for them would require investment in to our competitions.

“They would come in to the second tier of 12. They would not be able to come in at the very bottom of the league system as it would not be sustainable for any potential broadcast partner.”

Rimmer had earlier stated that the conclusions from the Watkins review that there was a need for change, and that finances, licensing and international competition were three key elements.

When asked about the international game being developed, Rimmer added: “The development of Toulouse would be an important part of that.

“Developing another top class tier of competition in France would be key.

France has ambitions to develop their domestic league to potentially invite clubs from around Europe to compete.

“Outside of that, there is great work going on in places like Serbia at the moment – and we have to begin somewhere.”

Toulouse were largely disappointing in their stint in the Championship, finishing 10th twice (2009 and 2011) and 8th (2010), winning 21 games from 60 in the league.

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