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Champions Cup

Savea “not welcome” at Toulon Anymore

Some of these quotes are astonishing.

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Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images

Following Toulon’s 19-10 loss to Agen yesterday their club president Mourad Boudjellal has struck out at his players especially Julian Savea.

Boudjellal has been unimpressed by his sides performances this season as they currently sit 11th in the Top 14 table with only six wins from 16 games and he did not hold back his anger when speaking about Savea in particular.

“I’m going to ask for a DNA test. It is not Savea that we recruited but ‘Savéapas’,”

he said to French publication RMC Sport.

“I am going to ask for a DNA test,” “Saveaapas not recruited but Savéapas, who had to change him on the plane. I would apologize and I would go home and when you get to that level of play, you have to apologize and leave, maybe it’s just a matter of self-esteem. Is it me who feeds my family or is it the club? “

Savea who left the Hurracaines in native New Zealand for the French giants last year has struggled to live up to his expectations following an international career in which he scored 46 tries in only 54 matches.

Even though he has played out of position in the centre rather than on the wing Boudjellal has banished him from the club from what has been gathered.

“I told him he was released, and he was no longer welcome at Toulon! He has got a year left on his contract. He can do what he wants. A year can be long for the club but especially for the player… for me he is released,” he continued.

The remarkable attack on one of the greatest wingers the world has ever seen wasn’t the end of his comments either.

“This Toulon team has done a lot of bad to the club. And if the players put in as much effort on the pitch as they do in negotiating their contracts, we would be champions of Europe!” he added when speaking of the team as a whole.

Boudjellal also lashed out at young fly-half Anthony Belleau.

“He caught the virus of the French team. They do not know how to play anymore, and I understand why he is not a member of the French team given his current level …” he also stated.

The president also warned the remainder of the team that unless they perform, they will face a similar fate to that of Savea.

“Some players are average because they want to leave and others because they have a cheque to take, and they cannot find a better cheque elsewhere. Many will be released,” he said.

In the final words of his incredible attack at the team was that he told them that he is likely not to go to their games until the end of the season as he has other preferences.

“We are not sure to see me at the stadium by the end of the season, I prefer to go to the Cirque Pinder!” he said.

With regards to Savea it appears as though he will be replaced by fellow All Black Nehe Milner-Skudder, who agreed a three-year contract with Toulon in December. He will join up with the team in June, but where Savea will go remains to be seen.

He may return to New Zealand, much like Ma’a Nonu if possible, to try and recreate the form that saw him reach such amazing heights before his move abroad.

However, it was reported that Toulon were looking at the possibility of gaining Dan Carter’s services until the end of the season, but it was confirmed today that he will return to former club Racing 92.

https://twitter.com/racing92/status/1097160738295242753

The club are in a situation now where they face the possibility of not only having a bad season but poor ones to follow as most player’s will be put off signing for them after seeing the treatment Boudjellal has shown his current crop of stars.

Challenge Cup

Ulster name team for Northampton Quarter-Final trip

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Photo By Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile via Getty Images

The Ulster coaching team has named the match-day squad for the trip to face Northampton Saints at Franklin’s Gardens on Saturday (kick-off 8pm).

Michael Lowry is named to start at full-back, and is joined in the back three by Jacob Stockdale and Robert Baloucoune. Stuart McCloskey and James Hume will form the midfield duo, and Billy Burns and John Cooney are the starting half-backs.

In the front row, Eric O’Sullivan, Rob Herring and Marty Moore retain their starting berths. Alan O’Connor will partner Kieran Treadwell in the second row. Last week’s Player of the Match, Sean Reidy, will start at blindside flanker, with Jordi Murphy skippering the team at openside and Nick Timoney at Number Eight.

John Andrew, Andrew Warwick, Tom O’Toole, Matty Rea and Greg Jones will provide the forward reinforcements from the bench, with Alby Mathewson, Ian Madigan and Ethan McIlroy named as the back line options.

Ulster team to play Northampton Saints, Challenge Cup Quarter-Final, Saturday 10 April at Franklin’s Gardens (kick-off 8pm, live on BT Sport):

(15-9) Michael Lowry, Robert Baloucoune, James Hume, Stuart McCloskey, Jacob Stockdale, Billy Burns, John Cooney;

(1-8) Eric O’Sullivan, Rob Herring, Marty Moore, Alan O’Connor, Kieran Treadwell, Sean Reidy, Jordi Murphy (Capt.), Nick Timoney.

Replacements: John Andrew, Andrew Warwick, Tom O’Toole, Matty Rea, Greg Jones, Alby Mathewson, Ian Madigan, Ethan McIlroy.

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Champions Cup

Big names miss out for Ulster

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(Photo By Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

The Ulster match-day squad to face Gloucester tomorrow afternoon in Round 2 of the Heineken Champions Cup has been named (Kingsholm Stadium, kick-off 3.15pm).  

The back line sees just one change from the side that played Toulouse last Friday. Michael Lowry, Jacob Stockdale and Matt Faddes all retain their positions in the back three. Stuart McCloskey and James Hume are the starting midfield duo. Billy Burns returns at fly-half and will captain the side; he will partner John Cooney at scrum-half.  

The front row remains unchanged for this game. Rob Herring is named at hooker, with Eric O’Sullivan and Marty Moore packing down at loosehead and tighthead prop. Alan O’Connor will partner with his brother David – who will make his first Heineken Champions Cup start with Sam Carter missing out through concussion. Sean Reidy has been selected at blindside, with Jordi Murphy returning at openside. Nick Timoney comes in to start at Number Eight to replace the injured Marcel Coetzee.

John Andrew, Kyle McCall, Tom O’Toole, Matty Rea, and Greg Jones are the forward bench options. Academy player, Ethan McIlroy could make his European debut if called upon from the bench, and is named alongside Alby Mathewson and Ian Madigan in the back line replacements.    

Ulster team to play Gloucester, Heineken Champions Cup Round 2, Saturday 19 December 2020 at Kingsholm Stadium, kick-off 3.15pm, live on BT Sport / beIN Sport:  

(15-9) Michael Lowry, Matt Faddes, James Hume, Stuart McCloskey, Jacob Stockdale, Billy Burns (Capt.), John Cooney; 

(1-8) Eric O’Sullivan, Rob Herring, Marty Moore, Alan O’Connor, David O’Connor, Sean Reidy, Jordi Murphy, Nick Timoney. 

Replacements: John Andrew, Kyle McCall, Tom O’Toole, Matty Rea, Greg Jones, Alby Mathewson, Ian Madigan, Ethan McIlroy.  

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Champions Cup

Ulster name strong side to face Toulouse

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(Photo By Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

The Ulster coaching team has named the match-day squad for the province’s opening Pool game of the 2020-21 Heineken Champions Cup against Toulouse on Friday (kick-off 8pm, Kingspan Stadium). 

In the back three, Jacob Stockdale returns from international duty to the left wing, joining Michael Lowry at full-back and Matt Faddes on the right wing. In midfield, Stuart McCloskey also returns from the Ireland squad to partner with James Hume. Ian Madigan has been named at fly-half alongside John Cooney at scrum-half. 

Having made his international debut against Scotland last week, Eric O’Sullivan, comes in to take the starting berth at loosehead prop. Rob Herring also returns from Ireland duties and is named at hooker, with Marty Moore retaining his position at tighthead. Alan O’Connor will partner with Sam Carter, who will lead the side from the second row. Sean Reidy and Jordi Murphy are named at blindside and openside, with Marcell Coetzee completing the pack at Number Eight. 

John Andrew, Andrew Warwick, Tom O’Toole, David O’Connor, and Matty Rea provide the forward options, with Alby Mathewson, Stewart Moore and Craig Gilroy offering back line cover from the bench. 

Ulster team to play Toulouse, Heineken Champions Cup Round 1, Friday 11 December 2020 at Kingspan Stadium, kick-off 8pm, live on BT Sport / beIN Sport:

(15-9) Michael Lowry, Matt Faddes, James Hume, Stuart McCloskey, Jacob Stockdale, Ian Madigan, John Cooney; 

(1-8) Eric O’Sullivan, Rob Herring, Marty Moore, Alan O’Connor, Sam Carter (Capt.), Sean Reidy, Jordi Murphy, Marcell Coetzee. 

Replacements: John Andrew, Andrew Warwick, Tom O’Toole, David O’Connor, Matty Rea, Alby Mathewson, Stewart Moore, Craig Gilroy.

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