Fri 21 Jan 2022 | 09:12

Toulouse to 'take legal action' after 'disrespectful' Euro Cup decision

Toulouse to 'take legal action' after 'disrespectful' Euro Cup decision
Fri 21 Jan 2022 | 09:12
Toulouse to 'take legal action' after 'disrespectful' Euro Cup decision
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REACTION: Toulouse president Didier Lacroix said on Friday the club will “take legal action” after European Champions Cup organisers cancelled this weekend’s home game with Cardiff and left the holders at risk of missing out on the last 16.

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European Professional Club Rugby handed the Welsh side a bonus point 28-0 victory after Lacroix’s record five-time winners registered numerous COVID-19 cases among their squad.

Lacroix claimed his side had enough fit players to fulfil the fixture with EPCR rules stating clubs must follow their domestic league’s COVID-19 regulations.

“We will take legal action against this decision because we’re witnessing a total lack of respect,” Lacroix told reporters.

“We can’t let this injustice pass,” he added during a 40-minute monologue.

Toulouse are seventh in Pool B and need results, including Castres’ game at English champions Harlequins and Wasps’ visit to Munster, to go in their favour if they are to reach April’s knock-out stages.

Their fixture at Wasps in December was declared a 0-0 draw due to travel restrictions in place between France and Britain and they lost to the English side last weekend.

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Cardiff flyhalf Jason Tovey welcomed the EPCR’s decision with a light-hearted reaction.

“Quality win lads defence was unreal especially the last 10 minutes,” he tweeted sarcastically.

“Four tries away from home to the European champs,” he added.

The move from EPCR means Irish province Connacht have reached the knock-out stages of Europe’s top-tier competition for the first time.

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Later on Friday, Bordeaux-Begles’ trip to Leicester Tigers scheduled for Saturday became the 10th game in this season’s competition where a side has been given a victory or a match declared a draw due to COVID-19 issues.

In December, four-time winners Leinster claimed they also had enough squad members to play Montpellier but the French club were awarded the win.

“Without speaking about our cases, numerous clubs have already been damaged, and it’s time that it stops,” Lacroix said.

“We’re talking about the credibility of this competition,” he added.

(Continue below …)

Euro Cup Round Four

‘Scandalous’

The French league (LNR), who runs the Top 14 and ProD2, sympathised with Toulouse’s situation.

“The LNR denounces a scandalous and totally unfounded decision,” the LNR said.

“EPCR’s decision is in violation of its own rules. It is incomprehensible and brings a serious prejudice on the club and the fairness of the competition,” it added.

Toulouse has refused to disclose the names of those who have contracted the illness but world player of the year Antoine Dupont as well as France halfback partner Romain Ntamack was omitted from the team announced for the game with Cardiff.

Les Bleus meet for a training camp in southern France on Sunday before starting their Six Nations campaign by hosting Italy on February 6.

“To participate in a France camp, a player has to have a negative test result,” the French Rugby Federation’s vice-president Serge Simon told AFP.

“What gives us a bit of comfort is that the first match isn’t straight away,” he added.

PV: 16
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