Toulouse still focused on Super League; respect RFL decision on season end

James Gordon

Photo credit: Bernard Rieu

Toulouse president Bernard Sarrazain says they respect the decision of the RFL to end the Championship season and re-affirmed their Super League ambitions.

The French side were top of the Championship with five wins from five when the season was suspended back in March, and it was confirmed earlier this week that it would not resume.

There will also not be any promotion or relegation to Super League, dealing ambitious Toulouse a blow in their first year since moving to the 19,000-capacity Stade Ernest Wallon, home of Toulouse rugby union.

They have had long-standing ambitions to make it to Super League, and finished second in the Championship last season before succumbing to Featherstone in the play-offs.

Sarrazin said (translated): “Toulouse regrets that the season cannot go to an end in a different format, because we are convinced that our club has never been in a better position to achieve its objective – the rise to Super League.

“The investment made to further improve the quality of our team and our arrival at Ernest Wallon, an infrastructure of excellence that we had been waiting for for many years, led us to believe we were on the right track.

“Our excellent start to the season, both on the field and in the stands with an increase in average attendance and the attraction of new partners, confirmed this.

“The objective was to continue to gain momentum as the season progressed, notably with the holding of the double header at the end of May including the Catalans Dragons, which would have been a top-notch event and a taste of Super League in Toulouse.

“We understand and respect the verdict announced by the RFL and assure you that the Super League project of Toulouse is not called in to question. As evidenced by the re-signings of players announced in recent weeks, we are already planning for next season.”

Toulouse will once again operate a team in the French Elite 1 Championship, the top level of French domestic competition, with the season starting in November.