Toulouse likely to be part of Super League reforms

Any changes to the structure of Super League are likely to include Toulouse, as a second French club in the competition.

Toulouse spent three years playing in the Championship between 2009 and 2011, with the view to applying for a licence in 2011.

However, they largely disappointed on the field, finishing 10th, 8th and 10th, before returning to the French competition.

But their interest in a place in Super League has not waned, and they now have the backing of the local city council and other key sponsors to support their push.

President Carlos Zalduendo has been chasing the Super League dream for more than 10 years, having initially applied back when Catalan joined the league in 2006.

An upgrade to their home, the Stade des Minimes, to bring it up to 10,000 capacity has been given the go-ahead, and French TV stations are believed to be interested in showing more rugby league, following the success of Catalan Dragons‘ coverage.

Al-Jazeera Sport are making significant in-roads in broadcasting within France, and their deputy director, Charles Bietry, was involved in the partnership that saw Paris St Germain enter Super League in 1996.

Increased television income for the game in France could attract new interest and investment from larger French cities, including Bordeaux, Marseille and even Paris.

The Toulouse stadium development is expected to start in summer 2014, ahead of any proposed changes to the game which are expected to come in to force at the start of 2015.

Last week, Super League clubs met to discuss plans, while Championships clubs got together in Coventry on Wednesday for their input.

One of the most publicised suggestions is to run with two leagues of 12, and then split them in to three leagues of eight.

 

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