Toulon turn their back on Rugby Champions Cup
October 18, 2013
Toulon lifted the Heineken Cup in 2013 © Getty Images
Toulon owner Mourad Boudjellal has broken away from the status quo and declared the current Heineken Cup champions will not play in the breakaway Rugby Champions Cup next season.
As things stand, both Premiership Rugby (PRL) and Ligue Nationale de Rugby (LNR) have showed no signs in turning away from their plans to push forward with playing in the newly formed, club-run Champions Cup next season instead of the union organised Heineken Cup.
Both parties have previously said that they have the full backing of their clubs in the Aviva Premiership and the Top 14, but Boudjellal's comments appear to be the first sign of unease within the Anglo-French alliance.
Boudjellal's stance is reportedly in response to a new regulation which the LNR is bringing in which sees a reduction in the number of foreign players in Top 14 team's squads, they are referred to as non-JIFF (Joueurs Issus des Filieres de Formation) players.
LNR wants to have in place regulations which see teams penalised both with a reduction in TV rights and payments from the organisation if they field more than 12 in a matchday squad in 2017.
In Boudjellal's view, this new legislation is "abject, reactionary and racist" and he will not support their plans to push ahead with a Champions Cup for next season. He told La Provence, Toulon "will take part in the 2014-'15 Heineken Cup, as the ERC does not demand quotas on foreign players, contrary to the Ligue Nationale, who bear their name well."
PRL has said it regards Boudjellal's comments as a local matter and plans for the new tournament are already at an advanced stage.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
Download ESPN's new UK multisport app, a fresh and powerful new way to follow your favourite UK sports news, scores and video.
Bows, bouts and big hits, launches, lineouts and late tries. Here's the finest snaps from the last seven days: it's Week in Pictures time
The Scotland coach enters his first Six Nations with at least one familiar face to look to for inspiration - Joe Schmidt. He chats to Tom Hamilton
Italy coach Jacques Brunel spoke to ESPN ahead of his final season as Italy coach and tells of his desire to experiment and evolve
"There's no bull with me, I just tell it straight." Tom Hamilton talks to Warren Gatland in an exclusive interview