Toulouse to enter League 1 in 2016

Toulouse Olympique will be competing in League 1 next season, it has been confirmed.

As their presence will make the competition a 15-team league, a new structure of a bye round for every team will be implemented.

They will enter the Challlenge Cup at the third round, but will not compete in the iPro Sport Cup.

Toulouse Olympique Chairman, Bernard Sarrazain said: “We would like to thank the RFL and its clubs for accepting us into this competition. It will mean big changes for us, with huge financial and sporting challenges, however we thoroughly believe that, after winning the French Elite Championship two years in a row, it is a vital step for the development of our club.”

Toulouse coach Sylvain Houles, who played Super League with Sheffield-Huddersfield, London Broncos and Wakefield Trinity Wildcats is excited about the new challenges ahead.

“I am thrilled with the decision and I cannot wait to start first team pre-season training and of course the competition,” he said.

“There are many changes which we will have to cope with, but I have full confidence in my staff and my players.”

RFL Chief Executive Nigel Wood is very pleased that there will be more French presence in the league structure from 2016.

“We are delighted to welcome Toulouse Olympique back into the competition,” he said.

“The Board, under the guidance of Chairman Bernard Sarrazain and Chief Executive Cedric Garcia, have worked hard to put together a compelling business case that is predicated on working in partnership with the French Federation.

“Their plan is to ensure there is tangible, coordinated and strategic growth from the impetus of Toulouse’s entry into League 1 that will positively impact on the domestic and national footprint in France.”

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