European Rugby Champions Cup
Hayman backs Toulon to continue dominating European rugby
PA Sport
May 3, 2015

Carl Hayman has tipped Toulon to continue dominating the Champions Cup after helping the French giants to an unprecedented third-straight European title.

The former All Blacks prop will retire this summer, along with World Cup-winners Ali Williams and Bakkies Botha - but backed Toulon to ride out a number of squad changes. Drew Mitchell's stunning score helped Toulon edge past Clermont 24-18 at Twickenham to claim the inaugural Champions Cup crown and their third consecutive European title.

Hayman admitted he can retire happy this summer after making European history, then insisted Toulon will not rest on their laurels.

"I think they can do it again next year: we're seeing the club's recruited very well for next season," said Hayman. "There are three or four older fellas moving on, but they are being replaced well.

"It will be up to the guys who are staying to move things forward and continue on what the guys have started here over the last four or five years. I think being the third victory, it's an even greater feeling.

"It's such a difficult competition, especially now with the pools being reduced, it's a lot harder. So it's a third time, and that will be extremely rare.

"Teams now have bigger budgets; teams are getting more competitive and more balanced throughout the competition. So it's going to continue to get harder and harder as the years go on. But I know Toulon can keep doing it.

"To win a third title like that, it was a hell of a tough game. But it's credit to our group of guys that we stuck at it. We're just really wrapped.

"I think it shows the quality of our group, we've got some pretty old heads in there but we've got some other guys who've contributed as well. It was vital we'd been in finals and positions like that in the last three or four years; the guys knew what to do."

© PA Sport

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