Toulon to return French title

Date published: March 30 2015

Toulon will return the Bouclier de Brennus early after Mourad Boudjellal reacted furiously to Saturday's home loss to Toulouse.

The French and European champions let an 18-0 lead slip as they went down 34-24 at the Stade Vélodrome in Marseille, their first defeat at the ground in the Top 14.

It continued a worrying trend of poor second-half displays letting the champions down, and club president Boudjellal was less than impressed.

His response to the defeat was to say the club would return the Bouclier de Brennus, the wooden shield given to the Top 14 champions, while they turn their attentions to this Sunday's Champions Cup quarter-final against Wasps.

"One thing is for sure, we're no longer French champions," said Boudjellal after the game. "I'm going to return the Bouclier to the league, after a defeat like that we don't deserve it any more. If they (the players) want it back, that's their problem.

"There was no hold-up, Toulouse deserved to win, they were much better than us and outplayed us in every area. Thankfully they are in a crisis, otherwise we would have conceded 60.

"I remain confident however, every year we need a big one (defeat), I hope this year's it's done. These are moments you have to get through, we've always managed to rebuild after.

"We'll see on Sunday if we can still legitimately claim to be European champions."