Chiefs pull plug on mooted Toulon clash
December 14, 2013
Toulon will not face off against the Chiefs this season © Getty Images
Super Rugby champions the Chiefs have confirmed the highly-anticipated intercontinental clash with European champions Toulon will not take place this season.
Though no date for the fixture had been confirmed both sides were hopeful of getting a match organised for February 2 in France, which would have reportedly seen Toulon's millionaire president Mourad Boudjellal fund the entire trip for the Chiefs. This included a match-fee to attract the New Zealand side to bring their international stars on the trip to increase interest in the match.
But there was a lingering issue for the southern hemisphere side regarding New Zealand internationals, who were unlikely to be granted approval to play so soon after the off-season. NZRU concerns over player injuries and availability, as well as travel logistics, appear to have put paid to the chances of the fixture happening for this season at least.
Instead the Chiefs will stay in the southern hemisphere ahead of their clash with the Reds on February 8 the following week.
Chiefs CEO Andrew Flexman made the official announcement the Toulon clash was not going ahead.
He said: "The Toulon match was always contingent on us being able to take a full strength squad, however due to our circumstances; this has changed, so now we will put our focus on our existing pre-season campaign and an important season ahead.
"We have not ruled out playing matches off-shore in the future."
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