Former Irish and Munster out half Tony Ward voices scathing criticism of what the French giants represent
I hate everything Toulon’s European wins stand for
Ward has penned an excellent article in today’s Irish Independent about the resurgence of the Irish provinces at European level as their progress this season.
While complementing the approach and efforts of the IRFU and the provinces, ward launches a stinging criticism of the French port club and owner Mourad Boudjellal. The three-time winners have noticeably dropped off the pace this season and were unceremoniously dumped out of the competition at the weekend buy Top14 rivals Clermont. A result that Ward certainly seemed to enjoy.
Indeed, if one result delighted me as much Leinster and Munster’s victories, it was Clermont putting bought-in success and what Toulon owner Mourad Boudjellal espouses to the sword for another year at least (given that another bus-load of global stars is due to arrive in the summer, along with Fabien Galthie as the latest head coach).
Throwning money at a problem until it is fixed is another gripe Ward has with the Toulon model and while there are overseas players plying their trades across all four provinces, Ward believes there has to be a balance describing buying silverware as ‘bonkers’.
And if the local population cannot understand that, then I suggest they take a look at the decline in the French national side.
I may criticise the IRFU from time to time but the Irish system has become the model to which many others around the world aspire – even if it is not perfect.
Certainly food for thought there as the French national team has certainly struggled to find a pattern or gameplan to compete consistently at the highest level in recent years.
You can read Ward’s article in it’s entirety here