Toulouse unhappy with Johnston's Test backflip
ESPN Staff
July 8, 2015
Toulouse aren't impressed with Census Johnston's about face © Getty Images

Veteran Samoa prop Census Johnston will face "consequences" after electing to play the historic Test against Samoa in Apia, his French club Toulouse have revealed.

Johnston was a surprise inclusion in the Samoa squad to face the All Blacks on Wednesday with the prop having announced his retirement from Test rugby earlier this year. The opportunity to be part of the All Blacks' maiden Test on Samoan soil proved too good to miss however, and he will now line up at tight-head prop.

But his decision hasn't impressed Toulouse, with club boss Fabien Pelous confirming the French giants' surprise at Johnston's Test rethink.

"We thought that Census had retired from international rugby. The fact that he is playing against the All Blacks is a bit of a surprise and unsettling," Pelous told French website Rugbyrama.

"But we'll see if it's only this match or if there is a chance of him playing in the World Cup."

Toulouse may be prepared to overlook Johnston's appearance in Apia because of the significance of the occasion but a return to the Rugby World Cup is unlikely be treated so kindly. European clubs are reportedly pressuring Pacific Island players into making themselves unavailable for Test rugby in a bid to ensure their roster isn't decimated during Test windows.

Former Samoa lock Dan Leo earlier this year revealed the extent of the problem and called on World Rugby to intervene before it was too late.

"There's no hints or beating around the bush, they come out and say 'stop playing for your country'," Leo said in May. "Almost every Pacific Island player I have spoken to has had pressure put on them to retire [from international rugby]. "If everyone could speak as openly as I do, they would say the same thing. Everyone is getting those pressures put on them. When they are negotiating a deal with the clubs, they will say 'we will give you this bit more if you don't play for your country'."

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