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Top 14 Orange
Toulouse's Noves calls for Top 12
ESPNscrum Staff
February 7, 2012
Toulouse head coach Guy Noves, Harlequins v Toulouse, Heineken Cup, Twickenham Stoop, October 17, 2009
Guy Noves believes the quality of rugby in France would improve with 12 teams © Getty Images
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Players/Officials: Rory Kockott | Guy Noves
Tournaments/Tours: Top 14 Orange
Teams: Castres | France | Toulouse

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.

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