Toulouse's Noves calls for Top 12
February 7, 2012
Guy Noves believes the quality of rugby in France would improve with 12 teams © Getty Images
Toulouse supremo Guy Noves has warned against the proposed expansion of the Top 14 and has instead suggested that the league should be cut to 12 teams.
With the French press reporting that the Ligue Nationale de Rugby are weighing up a proposal to expand the current structure of the Top 14 by two teams, Noves has insisted that the LNR should instead opt to decrease the number of teams vying for domestic supremacy. The Toulouse boss believes that less teams would help the quality of rugby in the division to grow.
"I don't think a Top 16 can allow French rugby to progress," said Noves. "I don't understand at all what's behind it. Be it for the France national team or clubs, we are continually looking for dates; not to squeeze in games but to allow everyone to prepare, recuperate and learn modern rugby.
"It make no sense to want to add fixtures. I would prefer a Top 12 because we're looking for dates everywhere. That would mean less rugby but more quality."
But with Biarritz and Bayonne lying at the foot of the table, Noves dismisses any notion that this could cause difficulties in his charge for 12 teams in the division. "I remember that Beziers [with 11 league titles between 1961-84] dropped out of the elite and I'm not sure many people moaned about it," Noves said. "It's the course of history. Clubs that have gone down over the last few years would be within their rights to say: 'Why do we save them when you did nothing for us?'"
And in other Top 14 news, Castres have announced that South African scrum-half Rory Kockott will stay at the club until the end of next season.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Huw Richards profiles French forward Walter Spanghero, a man who even rugby's hard men thought was a tough nut
"To be part of the Commonwealth Games, I'd wear anything. I'd wear a clown suit." Tom Hamilton talks to Scotland's Sean Lamont
Scrum Sevens looks back at how rugby has fared in both the early Olympics and the past four Commonwealth Games
"Cheika's been phenomenal. He gives you an incredible level of mental strength." Tom Hamilton talks to Waratahs star Jacques Potgieter