Champions Cup: Toulon eliminated on the green carpet by Leinster, against a background of controversial cancellation

The organizers of the Champions Cup have formalized the qualification of Leinster after the cancellation of the round of 16 against RC Toulon, scheduled for Friday, after a positive case of coronavirus in the ranks of the Var club.

After a single positive case for the coronavirus, RC Toulon finds himself eliminated from the Champions Cup. The organizers of the competition declared a defeat by forfeit against the Var club, this Friday a few hours before the round of 16 against the Irish of Leinster (6.30 p.m.). A decision that does not fail to cringe.

The Toulon club, which reported a frontline player infected with Covid-19 in its ranks, who did not go to Ireland, accuses the organizers of “mistakes”. In a statement, the RCT “strongly deplores” the fact that the organization has “let the players and staff go to Ireland, prepare for the match, to finally deprive them a few hours before kick-off from participating in this event major”.

Lemaître threatens not to return to the European Cup

This trip is estimated at more than 250,000 euros, between travel and hotel, by the president of the club Bernard Lemaître, who is considering claiming compensation from the European professional rugby club (ECPR). “I am not at all sure that the RCT will re-engage in the European Cup, it is no longer a competition that motivates us”, declared the leader, regretting “the laxity of the procedures” and the lack of “dialogue” .

The organizer explains for his part: “After having studied all the possible alternatives to facilitate the organization of the meeting, it was decided that the match could not be played in safety, taking into account at the same time the current health directives in Ireland and Covid-19 protocols “. According to the regulations, if a match cannot be played “safely”, then it will be canceled and “the club whose Covid-19 status did not require the cancellation will qualify for the next phase”.

After the positive screening on Wednesday, the RCT placed the player in solitary confinement in France and carried out new tests on Thursday, all negative. But the competition’s medical commission ruled “that there had been several high-risk contacts with the player who tested positive.”

RCT refused conditional postponement

According to the RCT, the organizer proposed to postpone “the meeting to Sunday on condition of replacing the six front row players”, the three holders and the three substitutes. But it was an “obvious sporting impossibility”, according to the club. “This is once again proof of the errors linked to the organization of European competitions,” ruled the RCT, which had already suffered a defeat on the green carpet (28-0) during the group stage in December.

The club with the three Champions Cup (2013, 2014, 2015) then refused to face the Welsh province of Scarlets due to cases of coronavirus in the ranks of this team. The match between Leinster and RC Toulon was to mark the resumption of the most prestigious continental club competition. The group stage was interrupted at the end of the second day due to the English variant of the coronavirus which had affected several teams.


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