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Dublin: 10°C Saturday 8 May 2021

Toulouse 'enormously' frustrated at 5,000-person limit for Ulster quarter-final

The Top 14 club has moved the fixture to their smaller home venue of Stade Ernest Wallon.

TOULOUSE HAVE CHANGED the venue for their Champions Cup quarter-final against Ulster on Sunday 20 September.

The Top 14 club had been due to host the game at the 33,000-capacity Le Stadium but have moved it to their home Stade Ernest Wallon due to ongoing restrictions over gatherings.

Stade Ernest Wallon can hold up to 19,000 people but the attendance for the Ulster game will be limited to 5,000.

a-view-of-stade-ernest-wallon Stade Ernest Wallon in Toulouse. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Toulouse president Didier Lacroix said local authorities had imposed the 5,000-person limit on the club for this Saturday’s Top 14 clash with La Rochelle at Stade Ernest Wallon, as well as the European quarter-final against Ulster.

Lacroix said the club had asked for an exemption but the Préfecture of Haute-Garonne had rejected that appeal due to the Covid-19 restrictions.

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“Knock-out games at home are always great moments of sport, which is so big in our city,” said Lacroix. “Playing this quarter-final at a reduced level frustrates us enormously.

“By relocating the quarter-final to Ernest Wallon and with the attendance limited to 5,000 people, we are dividing our possible revenues by eight times.”

Toulouse have said that the club will look to ensure season ticket holders and commercial partners are prioritised for available tickets. 

When confirming quarter-final dates and times back in July, tournament organisers EPCR said “all matches will be subject to government guidelines and/or restrictions with EPCR prioritising the health and welfare of players, club staff, match officials, media, supporters and the wider rugby community.”

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Murray Kinsella

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