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Top 14 Orange - Round 2
Saint-Andre nearing Toulon exit?
Ian Moriarty
September 5, 2011

Controversial Toulon owner Mourad Boudjellal has lashed out at coach Philippe Saint André in the wake of his side's 17-0 loss to Clermont Auvergne, prompting speculation that the France coach-elect will leave the club earlier than originally expected.

"I couldn't have imagined them playing any worse," Boudjellal told Var Matin. "I feel betrayed or at the very least, as if I've gotten very little for my money. In terms of play, they attempted nothing. But what have we seen in the last three years? What is the style of Monsieur Saint André?"

Saint-André was expected to stay in charge of Toulon until the end of the Rugby World Cup at the earliest but an angry Boudjellal claimed that the new French boss could leave sooner and attacked the French Rugby Federation (FFR) for "poaching" his head coach.

"After the match in Montpellier, Philippe will leave if he pays compensation to the club. Until then he has an obligation to produce results. For his departure I ask for compensation for earnings. Nothing if we're first, €300,000 if we're last [in the Top 14].

"The way Philippe was taken for the French team by the Federation; it was more or less active poaching. It was a criminal act. But it exists within the habits of French rugby. I will estimate the damage and will, if necessary, go to court."

Bordeaux-Bègles manager Marc Delpoux has paid tribute to his coaches and some hard work after watching the newly promoted side beat Bayonne 18-6 in front of 25,000 at Stade Chaban Delmas. Delpoux told Sudouest: "The work paid off. It was the staff that were responsible for our defeat in Paris! [last weekend] This week we refocused on our defensive systems after the errors in that sector in Paris. We know we'll have to be patient because the season is long, we'll need ten victories to survive and we will need public support in this task."

Meanwhile, Stade Francais coach Michael Cheika refused to make excuses following his side's 35-10 hammering at Castres. "The team never really played with any calm, they were too hurried with their game," Cheika told Midi Olympique. "We've a lot of cohesion to find in our tackling, set piece and play. We've no excuses."

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