There is a tide in the affairs of men.
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
I've just heard that Toulouse will withdraw from the English RL Championship and rejoin the French Elite 1. This move is regrettable but became inevitable when it emerged that continued participation would not be a guaranteed stepping stone to Super League. Toulouse were in a strange position anyway by being forced to pay their own travelling expenses while the expenses of their English opponents were being subsidised.
We must now be bold because this is an obvious opportunity to relaunch the the French Championship with some top class marketing and targeted help. The money saved, said to be £400K per season, can be used to provide RL supporters in the South of France with some of the top class action they are crying out for.
France is a big, well developed country with a rugby culture and a long proud tradition in our sport. With it's existing players, supporters and clubs it represents the most obvious example of a market waiting for us to exploit. With help, the French national team have the potential to compete with and beat England and NZ, if not Australia too. We desperately need more competitive international RL teams and if we can't be successful in France we really are wasting our time
A serious Anglo-French competition would be a good start along the lines of the Treize-Tournoi won by the short lived Lancashire Lynx in Barcelona during the 1990's.
The French Championship should be recognised as the equal of it's English equivalents and the winner should have the right to apply for a Super League License.
Why isn't the French Championship shown more widely on TV especially in England? With it's numerous dedicated sports channels showing all manner of obscure sports and competitions, our broadcast partner SKY (after any contractual obligations have expired) might help us out and provide a massive boost to our French friends