Toulouse haven’t given up on a place in Super League, despite being overlooked for 2015.
The French club have been pressing for inclusion since before even Catalan’s introduction in 2006, and played in the Championship between 2009 and 2011, although never met the on-field criteria to apply for the 2012 licence that ultimately went to Widnes.
With the re-structure of the game set to go ahead for 2015, no mention has been given to Toulouse, who will not make up any part of the initial 24-team line-up.
It is believed the RFL had concerns over the feasibility of them being ready in time for 2015, although chairman Carlos Zalduendo recently met with the governing body to discuss their future.
A new stadium development, commercial and local council backing and a TV deal are the key components to Toulouse’s plan for inclusion, and they could well be granted one of the promotion places in to the second league of 12 for the 2016 season, with no news yet on what is happening to the Championship clubs excluded by the re-structure.
There is a contingency plan in place to move to either Blagnac or Colomiers RU should the proposed stadium development – to double capacity to more than 10,000 – not be completed in time.
On the field, Toulouse are progressing, reaching the French Championship Grand Final thanks to a 30-14 win over Villeneuve at the weekend in front of a crowd of just under 5000.
Toulouse were largely disappointing during their three years in the Championship, although the success of the Catalan franchise, now in its ninth season in Super League, means the prospect of a second French club is never far off the agenda.