Toulouse Coach Mola Hits Out At 'grandfather Rugby' Ahead Of European Cup Clash

Toulouse coach Mola hits out at 'grandfather rugby' ahead of European Cup clash

Paris, April 1 (APP - UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 1st Apr, 2021 ) :Toulouse head coach Ugo Mola took a colourful swipe at the state of modern rugby in the run-up to Saturday's European Champions Cup clash with Munster, describing the sport as "rugby for grandfathers".

Mola, who made 12 France appearances between 1997-1999, called for changes across the sport in terms of how rugby is marketed and broadcast.

"From what I see, other sports are advancing. Even if it's a totally different sport, when you watch Formula One, you feel there's a real revolution in the way they treat the competition, the rules. The way it's broadcast," he said.

"I'm scared we'll fall by the wayside if we continue with this rugby for grandfathers. We need something dynamic.

"Guys are falling asleep in their armchairs. It would be good to wake them all up," he added.

Mola also said he was "frustrated" by the lack of announcement about next season's European Champions Cup ahead of travelling to Munster in Saturday's last 16 tie.

Mola, takes the joint-record four-time winners to Ireland for a re-run of the 2008 final, with this term's knockout and group stages having been changed due the coronavirus pandemic.

"What's frustrating with our friends at EPCR (European Professional Club Rugby) is the lack of a decision," Mola said.

"Until the last moment we don't know the format. There is pressure from the English league, the French league and the Pro14. We're always in this game of power and politics," the former France winger added.

EPCR told AFP talks are underway about next term.

"Discussions are ongoing between EPCR and its shareholder leagues and unions on the formats of both the Heineken Champions Cup and European Rugby Challenge Cup in the 2021/22 season," the body told AFP.

"The outcome of those discussions will be communicated as soon as practicable." - Les Bleus back - Mola will be without nine backs due to injury as well as Springboks loose forward Rynhardt Elstadt due to Covid-19 measure in place in Ireland.

Despite the absences, Les Bleus' Six Nations squad members including Antoine Dupont and Romain Ntamack, as well as South Africa's Rugby World Cup winner Cheslin Kolbe, are set to feature at Thomond Park.

"We'll have to make our team with the players available. Our academy and our youth team please us," Mola said.

"The current constraints don't put us in the best position to face such a team as Munster," he added.

Elsewhere this weekend, three-time champions Toulon travel to Leinster with former All Blacks centre Ma'a Nonu ruled out after being banned for three weeks for a red card in last weekend's heavy Top 14 loss at Lyon.

Fiji centre Semi Radradra is expected to return to Stade Chaban Delmas as Bristol Bears head to Bordeaux-Begles.

Racing 92 will be without Scotland's Finn Russell as they host Edinburgh after the fly-half was banned for three weeks for elbowing France's Brice Dulin in the Six Nations.

The quarter-finals of the tournament take place next week.

Last 16 fixtures (all GMT) Friday Leinster (IRL) v Toulon (FRA) (1630), Gloucester (ENG) v La Rochelle (FRA) (1900) Saturday Wasps (FRA) v Clermont (FRA) (1130), Munster (IRL) v Toulouse (FRA) (1400), Exeter Chiefs (ENG) v Lyon (FRA) (1630)SundayRacing 92 (FRA) v Edinburgh (SCO) (1230), Bordeaux-Begles (FRA) v Bristol Bears (1400), Scarlets (WAL) v Sale Sharks (ENG) (1630)