It won't be a popular move among existing clubs, especially the two clubs that are dropped from Super League. But the demoted clubs will be weak businesses led by a sorry bunch of incompetents who can't even get a stadium built after six years of warnings and let offs.
We already have Harlequins in Super League and Les Catalans Dragons in Super League. Neither bring away supporters to the M-62 corridor grounds , but they do offer some important advantages to the game, including the glamour of being situated in the cosmopolitan locations of London and southern France. And in these locations they have produced new playing talent for England and improved the exisiting playing talent of France. Think of Louis McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Tony Clubb, Thomas Bosc, David Ferriol, Jean Phillippe Baile and Jamal Fakir.
Harlequins has been very important in promoting the game in the south, such that London and the Southeast is now the fourth biggest area of junior recruitment in the United Kingdom.
Toulouse joining Super League will have several advantages: it will spread the game further in a major European metropolitan area that is twice as big as Leeds - spread in terms of spectators and junior recruitment. That spread of the game will have an add on effect on the performance and French public support for the French national team. A stronger French national team means a stronger international competition, which means more sponsorship of the game and more money for the clubs at all levels.
It will also help the Sky and BBC TV ratings. Let us look at the relevant evidence of rugby union competitions. How many people watch TV telecasts of the Heineken Cup, where Toulouse compete, compared with telecasts of the England only Guinness Premiership, where Toulouse do not compete?
There is another answer as to the value of Toulouse in Super League.
Edited by ParisSurtout, 05 August 2010 - 09:57 PM.