Sylvain Houles: ‘We need to know if we’re fighting a losing battle’ on place in game

Sylvain Houles says Toulouse Olympique will rebuild following relegation but that the club “needs to know if it is fighting a losing battle” competing for a place at the top of the sport.

Toulouse’s relegation after a single campaign in the top flight of European Rugby League was confirmed with defeat to French rivals Catalans Dragons on Thursday night.

Head coach Houles, who previously expressed his regret that Olympique were not given a three-year exemption from relegation because of the potential growth opportunities for the game in France, says the club wants to know if they are valued in the competition.

“It’s very sad that it has just lasted for one season,” said Houles.

“We’re so disappointed and frustrated but I guess we were not good enough. We have to take a good hard look at ourselves and see where we need to improve.

“When you are the bottom club everything goes against you. We’ve had a lot of adversity and a few unfair calls. We have to learn from that and put some positivity into it.

“At the same time I think Super League needs to know what it wants, what its vision is, do we want to expand?

“We have spent an awful lot of money to reach Super League and it will take an awful lot more to return but we need to know whether they just want an English competition or a genuine European Super League.

“We are a strong club and we will rebuild but we need to know if it is going to be worth it in the end or are we throwing lots of money, time and effort down the drain?

“The club will survive but for me it’s a bigger picture, a bigger question. What do we want with Rugby League in Europe? This club needs to know if it is fighting a losing battle.”