Bath v Toulon European Cup match might not go ahead

Bath boss Bruce Craig says he can't see when the match will be played

The European Rugby Champions Cup clash between Toulon and Bath may not be played after it was postponed on the weekend.

Rugby bosses chose to postpone all Champions Cup and Challenge Cup matches in France after the Paris attacks on Friday but it now seems that there is no time for the match to be played.

The playing season was moved to accomodate the hosting of the Rugby World Cup and the European knockout stages of the Champions Cup are scheduled to start until early April.

The Six Nations starts on February the 6th and Toulon Club owner Mourad Boudjellal has called for the match to take place during the Six nations window.

Boudjellal said that rescheduling the match is complicated and he feels that potentially the Six Nations coaches should release their players for the match.

Toulon have a wealth of talent but very few that feature in the France squad (Mathieu Bastareaud, Maxime Mermoz and Sébastien Tillous-Borde) while Bath have several players including George Ford, Jonathan Joseph, Kyle Eastmond, Anthony Watson, Semesa Rokoduguni, Dave Attwood and David Wilson.

“Playing on Wednesday isn’t possible,” he told French sports daily L’Equipe.

“I can only see one solution… It would mean that the (national team) coaches would have to accept not being able to call up international players of Bath or Toulon in order for us to be able to play the match during a matchday of the Six Nations.”

Bath owner Bruce Craig says that he cannot see where the match can be played due to the late Premiership season start for the Rugby World Cup and England’s tour to Australia in June at the end of the season.

“It is very clear to me that the Toulon match can’t happen,” Craig told The Telegraph.

“The midweek option is not an option to my mind as that would be to the detriment of player welfare as well as the integrity of two competitions, an important Champions Cup game being squeezed in with all the attendant travel issues between two Premiership weekends.

“There is no way we should be letting that happen. You can’t play three high-profile games in a week. In the wider context of what has happened in Paris, this is not a serious matter, of course it isn’t. ”

“And I do understand why the decision was taken. But from a rugby point of view, and from the point of view of the competition, this is an issue of significant consequence. ”

“There is no place to fit it in. It is a bit of a disaster in that regard.”

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