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The Toulouse Olympique Effect


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Toulouse getting promoted to Super League is potentially huge for the French game and for European Rugby League in general. Several years ago the general opinion of observers was that Rugby League in Toulouse was in a rut and was heading in the direction of how Rugby League ended up in several other big French cities. The presence of RL in places like Lyon, Bordeaux, Marseille has mostly dwindled and in some cases evaporated completely, the fear was that Rugby League in Toulouse would end up the same way. 

Now with Toulouse promoted the outlook is much more positive, I think their promotion is an opportunity to get more people participating in RL at grass roots level across France, but specifically in the Haute-Garonne region. And when I mean participation I don't just mean mens players, but the sport in all its forms, womens game, PDRL, youth, tag, referees, coaches, volunteers. 

Due to the effect Catalan Dragons had in Perpignan and the surrounding areas, RL has been much more stronger there than in most other centres and the aim of Toulouse has to be to rebalance that power dynamic.  

TO need to think about how they can maximise the opportunities from being in SL and getting the exposure that comes with it to get more players playing in Toulouse, Haute Garonne and south west areas. How can they  reinvigorate amateur clubs and increase the number of them, how can they get better players into their youth and reserves teams.

At the moment they are not producing anywhere near the same number of players as Catalan Dragons and the Toulouse Broncos reserve team have not performed well in the Elite for some time. They have recently linked up with clubs like Ramonville with a view to extending the reach of their club and I'd like to see them do more of this, they need to expand their influence in Haute-Garonne and even the Tarn. 

This is a really exciting time for French Rugby League and Toulouse, I'd love to hear from supporters in this part of France and get their views on how they see things panning out in the next few seasons. 

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Whether we like it or not, Toulouse's 1st, 2nd and 3rd objectives for the time being are to build a squad that can compete next year; otherwise they'll get relegated and it will all have been for nowt.

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I can confirm 30+ less sales for Scotland vs Italy at Workington, after this afternoons test purchase for the Tonga match, £7.50 is extremely reasonable, however a £2.50 'delivery' fee for a walk in purchase is beyond taking the mickey, good luck with that, it's cheaper on the telly.

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6 minutes ago, Just Browny said:

Whether we like it or not, Toulouse's 1st, 2nd and 3rd objectives for the time being are to build a squad that can compete next year; otherwise they'll get relegated and it will all have been for nowt.

The threat of relegation really does hold expansion teams back, if we must have relegation let’s make it the bottom placed English club. Super League should be an International League, the Championship should not.

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33 minutes ago, Sir Kevin Sinfield said:

The threat of relegation really does hold expansion teams back, if we must have relegation let’s make it the bottom placed English club. Super League should be an International League, the Championship should not.

No, that's unnecessarily divisive. Any club who we allow into Super League, presumably because we believe they can add something, deserves the chance to succeed and grow in it.

I can confirm 30+ less sales for Scotland vs Italy at Workington, after this afternoons test purchase for the Tonga match, £7.50 is extremely reasonable, however a £2.50 'delivery' fee for a walk in purchase is beyond taking the mickey, good luck with that, it's cheaper on the telly.

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7 minutes ago, Just Browny said:

No, that's unnecessarily divisive. Any club who we allow into Super League, presumably because we believe they can add something, deserves the chance to succeed and grow in it.

They’ve been allowed into SL because they won promotion, and if they finish bottom next year (which I hope they don’t) they should go back down and be replaced by whoever wins the championship who will therefore deserve their chance. 

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5 hours ago, The Daddy said:

Toulouse getting promoted to Super League is potentially huge for the French game and for European Rugby League in general. Several years ago the general opinion of observers was that Rugby League in Toulouse was in a rut and was heading in the direction of how Rugby League ended up in several other big French cities. The presence of RL in places like Lyon, Bordeaux, Marseille has mostly dwindled and in some cases evaporated completely, the fear was that Rugby League in Toulouse would end up the same way. 

Now with Toulouse promoted the outlook is much more positive, I think their promotion is an opportunity to get more people participating in RL at grass roots level across France, but specifically in the Haute-Garonne region. And when I mean participation I don't just mean mens players, but the sport in all its forms, womens game, PDRL, youth, tag, referees, coaches, volunteers. 

Due to the effect Catalan Dragons had in Perpignan and the surrounding areas, RL has been much more stronger there than in most other centres and the aim of Toulouse has to be to rebalance that power dynamic.  

TO need to think about how they can maximise the opportunities from being in SL and getting the exposure that comes with it to get more players playing in Toulouse, Haute Garonne and south west areas. How can they  reinvigorate amateur clubs and increase the number of them, how can they get better players into their youth and reserves teams.

At the moment they are not producing anywhere near the same number of players as Catalan Dragons and the Toulouse Broncos reserve team have not performed well in the Elite for some time. They have recently linked up with clubs like Ramonville with a view to extending the reach of their club and I'd like to see them do more of this, they need to expand their influence in Haute-Garonne and even the Tarn. 

This is a really exciting time for French Rugby League and Toulouse, I'd love to hear from supporters in this part of France and get their views on how they see things panning out in the next few seasons. 

Disagree. Toulouse has stronger foundations than you suggested here

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5 hours ago, Eddie said:

They’ve been allowed into SL because they won promotion, and if they finish bottom next year (which I hope they don’t) they should go back down and be replaced by whoever wins the championship who will therefore deserve their chance. 

The million pound game should be the bottom team in SL vs the championship play off winners.

That way no one can complain and the promoted team has proven they deserve to replace a side or the flip side a team demonstrating they deserve a second year in the SL

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I said it before. Ringfence them in. If the European SL is true to its name, then the maximum number of English teams should be capped at ten. Any expansion to the competition by way of number of teams will need to be by way of non English clubs.

Promo and relegation for English clubs to continue via championship winners and last placed English club.

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5 hours ago, yipyee said:

The million pound game should be the bottom team in SL vs the championship play off winners.

That way no one can complain ......

Fev would find something to complain about.

"We'll sell you a seat .... but you'll only need the edge of it!"

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8 hours ago, yipyee said:

The million pound game should be the bottom team in SL vs the championship play off winners.

That way no one can complain and the promoted team has proven they deserve to replace a side or the flip side a team demonstrating they deserve a second year in the SL

Couldn't disagree more.

If you finish bottom of SL with SL money, you get relegated.  If you finish top of the Championship with Championship money you get promoted and a chance to improve your squad with SL money.

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7 minutes ago, FearTheVee said:

Couldn't disagree more.

If you finish bottom of SL with SL money, you get relegated.  If you finish top of the Championship with Championship money you get promoted and a chance to improve your squad with SL money.

Totally agree,like we saw with the 8s the perennial Superleague strugglers would simply sign players towards the end of the season to boost their survival.

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The main impact that I’d like to see from Cats and Toulouse’s recent efforts is a general growth in interest in the sport in France, and a knock on to improved quality and support in Elite 1 and 2. 

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9 hours ago, yipyee said:

The million pound game should be the bottom team in SL vs the championship play off winners.

That way no one can complain and the promoted team has proven they deserve to replace a side or the flip side a team demonstrating they deserve a second year in the SL

How about we expand that to the bottom 4 in SL and the top 4 in the Championship and every team plays each other in a mini League, the top 4 compete in SL after a play off between the 4th and 5th placed teams, 4th gets home advantage, it could work you know!

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6 hours ago, Sports Prophet said:

I said it before. Ringfence them in. If the European SL is true to its name, then the maximum number of English teams should be capped at ten. Any expansion to the competition by way of number of teams will need to be by way of non English clubs.

Promo and relegation for English clubs to continue via championship winners and last placed English club.

Absolutely ridiculous. 

That would just promote those English SL player's you are making redundant make themselves available for the French teams, which in turn would stifle the French development programmes.

 

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1 hour ago, FearTheVee said:

Couldn't disagree more.

If you finish bottom of SL with SL money, you get relegated.  If you finish top of the Championship with Championship money you get promoted and a chance to improve your squad with SL money.

Spot on.

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2 hours ago, Harry Stottle said:

Absolutely ridiculous. 

That would just promote those English SL player's you are making redundant make themselves available for the French teams, which in turn would stifle the French development programmes.

 

Who said anything about redundant players. What you are saying is the same thing that has been happening for the history of promotion and relegation in RL.

In actual fact, by ring fencing the two clubs in, it promotes the opportunity for French clubs to blood a few more of their local talent, knowing full well that they will not be relegated. 

Edited by Sports Prophet
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My assumption was that this thread was focusing on the positive impact Toulouse can have on RL in South West France and across the whole of the South of France. Ideas and other people's knowledge on what impact they have already had and how they can focus on getting more kids playing RL.

How wrong I was. It immediately became a structure thread with everyone arguing and the OP being completely ignored!

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17 hours ago, Eddie said:

They’ve been allowed into SL because they won promotion, and if they finish bottom next year (which I hope they don’t) they should go back down and be replaced by whoever wins the championship who will therefore deserve their chance. 

The next team can come up and get their chance. At the expense of the bottom placed English team.

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5 minutes ago, JM2010 said:

My assumption was that this thread was focusing on the positive impact Toulouse can have on RL in South West France and across the whole of the South of France. Ideas and other people's knowledge on what impact they have already had and how they can focus on getting more kids playing RL.

How wrong I was. It immediately became a structure thread with everyone arguing and the OP being completely ignored!

Right you are. However, my point on ringfencing TO in SL will ultimately go on to really help that growth of the sport.

Like I mentioned, ringfencing them in will allow them to give opportunities to up and coming locals without the threat of relegation knocking on the door.

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If every year you are worried about relegation then Toulouse cannot afford to risk to many points by playing youth. It´s only now that Catalan are financially secure and in terms of team ability strong enough not to fear relegation they risk more French lads. We should also remember that Catalan were ringfenced. 

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51 minutes ago, ShropshireBull said:

If every year you are worried about relegation then Toulouse cannot afford to risk to many points by playing youth. It´s only now that Catalan are financially secure and in terms of team ability strong enough not to fear relegation they risk more French lads. We should also remember that Catalan were ringfenced. 

Is this supported by facts?

A quick scan at a few key events in Catalans history:

1st ever SL game - 9 French players

Cup final 2007 - 8 French players

Bottom placed finish in 2010 (last game of year) - 10 French players

SL Semis 2012 - 7 French players

MPG in 2017 - 8 French players

Challenge Cup win in 2018 - 10 French players

Grand Final in 2021 - 5 French players

The Cup win in 2018 was the undoubted highlight in terms of French players - having 10 in there was an outstanding success.

Edited by Dave T
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4 hours ago, Davo5 said:

Totally agree,like we saw with the 8s the perennial Superleague strugglers would simply sign players towards the end of the season to boost their survival.

Why couldn't the championship team do the same?

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