Top 14
Noves launches verbal tirade
Ian Moriarty
November 27, 2009
Toulouse coach Guy Noves awaits the start of a game, Toulouse v Bath, Heineken Cup, Stade Toulousain, Toulouse, France, October 12, 2008
Toulouse boss Guy Noves has aired his grievances with the Top 14 fixture schedule © Getty Images

The feel-good factor might have returned to French rugby following their win against the Springboks but LNR (Ligue National de Rugby) president Pierre-Yves Revol has not had the easiest of weeks in the job.

Both Biarritz and Toulouse, who have provided the bulk of the French squad during the autumn internationals have gone on the offensive against the fixture scheduling of the Top 14, with Toulouse boss Guy Noves claiming this week he was disgusted by the "dishonesty" of the competition.

Noves made his claim after last weekend's 10-30 hammering at the hands of Castres, ironically the club Revol presided over before becoming LNR supremo last season.

The outspoken Toulouse coach will approach this weekend's game against Montauban with upwards of seventy percent of his squad unavailable due to injury or international call-ups. It's a situation that, he says, puts his club at a huge disadvantage.

Speaking to Midi Olympique, Noves fumed, "All of this distorts the championship so you cannot say that it is honest or professional. When it concerns three players, it's not too serious but when it concerns ten, with four or five foreign [internationals] it becomes unmanageable.

"It completely unbalances the championship," added the veteran coach. "Some clubs will profit from this and will be happy but we have to be able to defended our [club] colours. I'm disgusted."

Meanwhile, Biarritz have appealed to the French National Sport and Olympic Committee (CNOSF) after the LNR scheduled the Basque side to play Racing Metro next Tuesday, just three days after the All Blacks Test in Marseille. The match was originally scheduled for November 5 but was cancelled due to heavy rainfall.

Biarritz president Serge Blanco, who was the LNR boss for ten years before stepping aside for Revol, said he was appealing on the grounds of "sporting equality" given that his side would be missing their French contingent for the game.


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