This site uses cookies to improve your experience and to provide services and advertising. By continuing to browse, you agree to the use of cookies described in our Cookies Policy. You may change your settings at any time but this may impact on the functionality of the site. To learn more see our Cookies Policy.
Dublin: 8 °C Wednesday 29 January, 2020

Toulon and the Chiefs set for 'World Cup of Clubs' showdown

The NZRU have given the go-ahead for the game to take place, according to reports in France.

Heineken Cup champs Toulon are keen to take on the Chiefs.
Heineken Cup champs Toulon are keen to take on the Chiefs.
Image: Julien Behal/PA Wire/Press Association Images

THE MEETING BETWEEN the reigning champions of Europe, Toulon, and the current holders of the Super Rugby title, the Waikato Chiefs, looks to be drawing closer, with reports in France claiming that the New Zealand Rugby Union have given their approval for the game to be played.

Midi Olympique says that the NZRU has validated the proposed date of the 2nd of February, 2014 and that the game will take place at Toulon’s Stade Mayol. However, there is no mention made of any change in the ERC’s stance.

Speaking in July, the Heineken Cup organisers’ president Jean-Pierre Lux said, “Under the terms of the European Rugby Cup participation agreement that they signed before the competition, the clubs do not have the right to play such a game as European champions especially against the winners of the Super 15, it is stated in the agreement.

I totally understand that he wanted to do something, but Mr Boudjellal does not have the latitude to organise such a game. It’s a good idea. We have long been in discussion with SANZAR to set up a match like this but it faces the problem of the calendar.”

It seems that Boudjellal has been undeterred by Lux’s statement and will go ahead with the game, even if it is in an unofficial standing. The comic book magnate deeply desires to see the game played this season, and there is no indication that Boudjellal will halt his plans.

The Chiefs are understood to be on board, particularly as Boudjellal has offered to cover all travelling and accommodations costs. The Waikato-based franchise are hoping to bring a full strength squad including All Blacks Liam Messam, Aaron Cruden, Tawera Kerr-Barlow and, possibly, Sonny Bill Williams.

The clash would be a fascinating contrast of styles, although it would take place during the Chiefs’ pre-season and at a time when Toulon will be approaching their peak.

Balancing that out somewhat is the fact that France play England in the Six Nations on the 1st of February, meaning Toulon could be without the likes of Mathieu Bastareaud, Maxime Mermoz and Jocelino Suta. However, the Heineken Cup champions have more than enough depth in their squad to cover those potential absences.

Who do you think would win the game? Jonny Wilkinson’s powerful Toulon side or Cruden’s skillful Chiefs outfit?

O’Mahony proud of Munster’s defensive effort ahead of Leinster clash

Lam calls on Connacht players to be accountable for ‘silly mistakes’

  • Share on Facebook
  • Email this article

About the author:

Murray Kinsella

Read next: