Toulouse home fixtures still plagued by Covid restrictions

Toulouse Olympique are still playing the waiting game over when they will be able to stage a Championship match in France this season, with the scheduled visit of Bradford Bulls on Saturday, June 19 the first which could potentially go ahead.

Because of ongoing government quarantine guidelines due to the pandemic, no part-time teams are currently visiting the country.

And London Broncos, the competition’s only full-time club other than Toulouse, forfeited their recent match there after deciding not to travel.

In announcing the reopening of foreign travel from May 17, the government confirmed that France would stay in the amber category.

That means travel there is not recommended, and must be followed by a ten-day period of self-isolation, reduced to five by PCR tests.

This will remain the case at least until the next government travel review on Monday, June 7.

Promotion-chasing Toulouse’s home fixture against Swinton on Saturday will now take place at the Lions’ Heywood Road ground, kicking off at 3pm with limited fans allowed and screened on Our League.

The RFL explained in a statement: “As agreed for this contingency, the home match against Swinton has been switched to Heywood Road as this was the only scheduled meeting of the teams this season.

“Swinton were not due to play Toulouse at home, as a result of the reduction in the fixture list required by the delayed start to the season.

“The same process occurred with Toulouse’s home game against Widnes, which was scheduled for May 8, and played on neutral ground at Heywood Road (on May 9).

“The Toulouse versus Newcastle fixture (scheduled for May 29) has been postponed, to be played at a later date if possible.

“It is the second Toulouse home game to have been postponed for this reason, following the Featherstone fixture which was scheduled for May 1.

“One of the two potential dates for rearranged matches in Toulouse, the weekend of June 5/6, has now been ruled out with France on the amber list for three weeks from May 17.

“That leaves the weekend of July 17/18 as the first – and only – available slot for rearranged Toulouse home fixtures.

“At this stage, the Featherstone game would be rearranged for that weekend, should France be reclassified as a green-list country – unless Featherstone reach the final of the AB Sundecks 1895 Cup, in which case the Newcastle fixture would be rearranged.

“Toulouse continue to fulfil all their away fixtures as scheduled, with their players required to quarantine for seven days on their return to France, other than training for which there is a French government exemption.”

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