Boudjellal responds to Smit

Date published: November 26 2014

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Toulon president Mourad Boudjellal has laid down the gauntlet to the Sharks saying they will play them wherever and whenever.

Toulon president Mourad Boudjellal has laid down the gauntlet to the Sharks saying they will play them wherever and whenever.

John Smit, the South African franchise’s CEO, challenged Toulon to a game on Tuesday, claiming that winning the Heineken Cup, as it was then, is much easier than winning a Super Rugby title.

After some back and forth with Toulon winger Drew Mitchell, Boudjellal has intervened, saying that if the Sharks want a game, then Toulon are game.

“I saw what they said about RCT and I find it a little inappropriate,” said Boudjellal

“I’ve seen Jaws 1, 2 and 3 and sharks don’t scare me. If they want play against champions, it’s wherever and whenever they want.

“If they think it’s easy to win the double, then why don’t they send their team and we’ll see. Bernard (Laporte) told me it’s not problem if they want to come and deal the final blow, we’re ready to welcome them.”

Toulon are already in talks over a game with Super Rugby champions the Waratahs, but a more pressing concern is this weekend’s clash with Top 14 leaders Clermont.

The defending champions will be without a few of their big guns, with Bryan Habana and Bakkies Botha among those rested after a busy November schedule.

It is not yet clear if Clermont will do the same, but Boudjellal admits the two sides have become rivals over the last few seasons, and even hinted that he might be looking to Clermont as part of his recruitment.

“We’ve been enemies for years, but we have a lot of respect for them,” he added.

“The games are always tight against them, often with turning points late on. We will go with a lot of desire, even if we’re weakened. I don’t know what state they will be in. In any case, it’s been the derby of the last few years.

“A couple of years ago it was the European Cup final, there was a semi-final, it’s become a Clasico between les Rouge et Noir and les Jaune et Bleu. In fact there might be a Jaune et Bleu who comes off the pitch in Rouge et Noir, or vice versa. Who knows.”

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