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Heineken Cup
Toulon owner accuses referee of bias
ESPN Staff
April 7, 2014
Toulon owner Mourad Boudjellal watches his side in action © Getty Images

Toulon owner Mourad Boudjellal spoke of his relief at not getting a particular referee in the wake of their Heineken Cup quarter-final win over Leinster.

Boudjellal said he was pleased with Wayne Barnes' performance but said he feared getting one of the other referees, an individual he claimed has been favoured Leinster in the past.

"I'd been told there was a referee to avoid so I didn't want him," Boudjellal said. "We realised that there was a referee, every time he refereed Leinster, they won. He refereed them in the quarters, semi and final."

On the subject of Barnes, Boudjellal said: "I watched all the quarter-finals this weekend and I think this was the best one. I was worried about the refereeing because he refereed us in the Amlin final against Biarritz but I thought he was very impartial today."

Boudjellal took the post-match conference as Bernard Laporte is still serving his ban for criticising a match official earlier in the season. Boudjellal also used his time to pay tribute to Jonny Wilkinson, who was forced off with a first-half injury. Boudjellal said: "We took some chances with Wilkinson. Was that his last game at Mayol? I don't know and I wouldn't tell you anyway. Life will be complicated without him.

"He has brought magic to this club. We had the [Tana] Umaga years and the Wilkinson era. I don't know who will be next. Those sort of guys are few and far between.

"There was talk of O'Driscoll before game but there is one difference. One has won the World Cup and one didn't and that makes a difference. I hope when Wilkinson is mentioned in future in the past tense that he will be recognised for his worth, which is colossal."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd

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