Toulouse Olympique and Bristol All Golds have established a new Rugby League partnership.
The objective is to create positive links on and off the field, with the common goal to grow the sport in France and in South-West England, in Bristol especially.
In 2016, Toulouse and the All Golds were opponents on the ground when both teams played in League One (3rd tier). Since then, Toulouse have been promoted to the Betfred Championship, while the All Golds took a break from professional competitions to focus on its Academy and the development of Rugby League in Gloucestershire.
The first intended aim of the partnership is to build links to facilitate the exchanges of players between France and England, and to create a clear talent development path. Friendly games will take place between both clubs in different categories – Toulouse Olympique has three feeder teams (in French 1st, 2nd and 3rd divisions), youth teams, a women’s team, a wheelchair RL team and a Masters team.
In addition, coaching staff will have regular exchanges to share their knowledge and techniques.
The two clubs also plan to explore potential business opportunities between two economically dynamic big cities.
“We are delighted to start this partnership, which we believe, will be a ‘win-win’ on many different levels. A big thank you to Lionel Hurst, Simon Martin and their staff for offering us this new opportunity of global development,” said Toulouse Olympique Chairman Bernard Sarrazin.
All Golds Chairman Lionel Hurst said: “Our dealings with Bernard, Sylvain, Cédric and Thomas have been superb and augur well for a unique partnership rich in promise. Both the All Golds (male) and Golden Ferns (female) are fully supportive. We are all treizistes at heart!”