Is the Champions Cup enough for Toulon?

Posted: November 5, 2015 in Uncategorized

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If you aren’t aware of Toulon’s spending power by now, you must have been living under a rock (on the moon). Powered by the billions of Mourad Boudjellal, and coached to near perfection by Bernard Laporte, they have won the last three Champions Cup (Heineken Cup as it was too) the last three years on a trot.

They have broken records on the way and annihilated some teams in the process. With the team they have, they probably need minimalist coaching. I mean, what instructions could be possibly give to the likes of Matt Giteau, Bryan Habana, Drew Mitchell, Ma’a Nonu, Steffon Armitage and Juan Smith (to name a few) that they haven’t already thought of or tried on the world stage?

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A large number of people feel they are ruining club rugby; other teams in Europe can’t match the contents of Boudjellal’s deep pockets and the lack of a salary cap in France is not helping the case either. Irish provincial sides, along with the Scottish, Welsh, English and Italian sides cannot and will not come close to matching their buying power.

Quade Cooper became RCT’s latest signing, who will be meeting Paul O’Connell, Ma’a Nonu, James O’Connor and Duane Vermuelen in Toulon’s local airport. Oh, he’ll be meeting ten other signings too.

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The Toulon team were a force to be reckoned with. They inspired fear in opponents by name alone. Granted, Leinster came close last season and Grenoble can say they travelled to RCT’s back yard and beat them. Stade Francais pulled out a miraculous performance last year to tip them in the Top 14 final. But this season they will be a completely different monster. Surely the Top 14 and Europe should be top of the to-do list this year.

Their squad (below) is a who’s who of the world stage. It’s no longer a case of if they will win this year’s Champions Cup or Top 14, but by how much. With a squad like this, the All Blacks should be the only team in the world to beat them, and I imagine even that would be a cracker.

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