I think you made my point. They have this large population as does for example, Sheffield, and they still don't have bigger attendances than leigh, Fev etc. Are you therefore so certain that they are a strong RL heartland area and therefore certain to be a huge success if in SL?
Toulouse have never had a top flight full-time professional RL club! All Toulouse's data is from being a part-time club in a second tier competition. Featherstone, Leigh and Sheffield all have had chances in the big time. None of those clubs have averaged over 5k on any regular basis. It will be a real struggle for any of those to do that in the future.
This is not to say they could or should get a chance to play SL.
You could have made exactly the same comments about XIII Catalan/St Esteve (10 years ago) who were getting around 500-1000 playing semi-professional in Elite 1. They also got whacked by Wigan by 80 points in the Challenge cup in 2003-2004-ish. Now they are one of the 6-8 biggest RL clubs in the Northern Hemisphere and regularly average 8,000-10,000. This is from a population of 120,000.
Toulouse have 4x the population of Perpignan and 10x the population of Leigh. Unlike Sheffield, RL has been played there for 75 years. It would be madness not to tap into this potential. It was no surprise that 10-15k turned up for a 'big-time' RL game there last month. This could be a reality every other week in around 5 years.
Toulouse is the only club with the potential to become the next Leeds, Wigan, Warrington, Bradford, St Helens etc. We have plenty of candidates to become the next Salford, Castleford, Wakefield. In effect we are talking about two different markets.
Edited by Scubby, 14 July 2013 - 02:15 PM.