Laporte calls for Top 12
July 8, 2014
Bernard Laporte's Toulon won the 2013-14 Top 14 title © Getty Images
Toulon coach Bernard Laporte has called for the number of teams in the Top 14 to be reduced by two.
In part of his outspoken interview with Midi Olympique, Laporte heavily criticised the performances of the French national team, saying they are now the equivalent of the Spain national football side, and accused Philippe Saint-Andre of hypocrisy over his criticism of the number of foreigners in the Top 14.
For Laporte, the league must do more to help support the French national side and he believes it should be a 12-team competition, not 14. "There are too many professional teams, that is certain," Laporte told Midi Olympique. "For me, we need to move to a Top 12. That would immediately mean an extra month to focus on the national team.
"That's not all; we should remove the play-offs. With such a decision, you not only strengthen your league, with a real champion of France, but you get another three weeks for the national team."
Laporte also revealed he is keeping close tabs on the presidency of the French Rugby Federation. Pierre Camou's term is up in 2016 and Laporte is keen on standing to replace him adding that if he was handed the role, he would be a public figure saying it is a role where you are "seen and heard".
Laporte added: "Pierre Camou said repeatedly and publicly that he was not in favour of a president to do more than two terms. He is in his second and is a man of his word ... he must go. "
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
Communication error please reload the page.
London Welsh head coach Rowland Phillips is adamant the future is bright at the Exiles despite their relegation being confirmed on Sunday
Mexico international Javier Hernandez has told Fox Sports about his frustrations at Real Madrid
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says Sebastian Vettel's win for Ferrari in Malaysia has set alarm bells ringing for the reigning world champion
Neymar has likened Gary Medel's foul on him during Brazil's 1-0 win over Chile to something from UFC
Manchester United target Mats Hummels is considering his Borussia Dortmund future
Concussion, relegation and the mother of all surprises - it's the Monday Maul.
After a 10-year break in the fixture, England and Italy have faced each other three times in as many seasons, with one win each and a draw
Queensland are worth watching again, even if victory over the Lions would have papered over cracks, because Quade Cooper is back in the No.10 jersey, Greg Growden writes
In a exciting return from injury, Quade Cooper thrilled fans to become Player of the Round, while a new star now leads the medal tally
The Hurricanes have always been a franchise rich on talent, but something was always awry; not any more as they look the real deal Sam Bruce writes
Six months after being victim of a machete attack that left him fearing for his life, Kell Brook dished out a vicious attack of his own in his a first world title defence
Kell Brook is not waiting for Amir Khan to make up his mind about fighting him and hopes to face either Mexican Juan Manuel Marquez or American Brandon Rios this summer
Patrick Kluivert has revealed he did not follow Louis van Gaal to Manchester United as his No.2 last summer as he was holding out for a managerial role instead
Luis Suarez received a rapturous reception as he made his first return to Anfield since joining Barcelona, playing the second half of a charity game between sides captained by Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher
Danny Welbeck believes signing for Arsenal has helped him to improve his international form for England
Rory McIlroy walked off at the Honda Classic. What next for the Northern Irishman?
Join Steve Bunce and Barry Jones each week for the latest news, views and debate from the boxing world.
Who has driven in the most GPs before taking pole position?
Unbeaten heavyweight Dillian Whyte, 28, (14-0, 11 KOs) tells ESPN where his rivalry with Anthony Joshua stems from and outlines the plan for his career this year after returning from a doping ban in November
Miroslav Klose scored goals in the World Cup final tournaments of 2002, 2006, 2010 and 2014. Has anyone else scored World Cup goals 12 years apart?