Toulouse Olympique have confirmed that they will continue to fund their opponents’ travel costs in 2023 if they are relegated from Super League.
Sylvain Houles’ side sit at the foot of the table, having claimed just five wins from 24 fixtures in their inaugural season in Super League.
A defeat to Catalans this Thursday would confirm their fate after a solitary season in the top flight.
Another year in Super League may have seen the French outfit negotiate travel costs with their Super League opponents.
However, a return to the Championship would see them continue to pay for travel costs to France for the part-time division. Including the cost for officials, the bill will see Toulouse pay £500,000 a year.
“I think on this one we won’t have any choice,” said chief executive Cedric Garcia. “Should we stay in Super League, there would be some talks with the clubs.
“However, in the Championship I don’t see the RFL letting us not fund the travel. We need to be ready to do it.”
Toulouse Olympique to remain full-time with at least five departures confirmed
As expected, Garcia also confirmed that his club will remain full-time in 2023 in order to be a competitive team.
The club is also let to lose at least five players at the conclusion of the 2022 campaign. France international prop Justin Sangare is joining Leeds, while Andrew Dixon and Joseph Paulo will also depart the club. Hooker Lloyd White looks likely to retire due to injury. Prop forward Mitch Garbutt is heading to St Gaudens as a player-coach in French Elite 1.
“I think people recognise that we are a Super League club with our facilities and the way we operate,” Garcia said.
“We’ve tested it and we like it so we want to come back. We’re going to try everything to have a team that is capable of bringing us straight back.
“We have no option but to stay full-time if we want to be competitive as a foreign club. We tried it between 2009 and 2011 but, with the travel and recovery, it doesn’t work.”
Garcia says the club will sit down with Corey Norman next week to discuss his future after his season was ended prematurely by suspension.