Exclusive: ‘It will be a dying game here in ten years’ – Toulouse star Nathan Peats calls to be exempt from Super League relegation

The idea that a Super League club can be exempt from relegation all stems back to when the Catalans Dragons were given that privilege in the mid-2000s.

Back then, Castleford Tigers were relegated in 2006 despite not finishing bottom by three points because the RFL and Super League had given the French side a three-year exemption in a bid to gain a solid foundation from which to grow a successful club.

That obviously worked with Catalans becoming one of the most impressive sides in the top flight in recent seasons, winning the Challenge Cup in 2018 and making the Grand Final in 2021.

Although it was controversial at the time because it saw the Castleford Tigers go down instead, both clubs have become fighting forces in Super League ever since.

Now, the argument today is that the same should have been given to Toulouse Olympique who themselves are heading for relegation after just one year in the top flight.

Leigh Centurions did exactly the same in 2021, so clearly the one-year frailty does trump investment in that regard.

And, for Toulouse hooker Nathan Peats, he wants to see Toulouse being given exemption from relegation in order to grow the game or slowly watch rugby league die.

“Of course I think Toulouse should be exempt,” Peats told Serious About Rugby League.

“Even if they bring up two Championship teams next year and make it 14 teams. How do you expect this competition to grow when the new team in Super League every year goes straight back down?

“They need time to build, I also read a thing the other day when other owners were angry at there being two French sides in the Super League and how they get funding over Championship sides etc.

“It’s a pure example of why this competition will never grow or expand with that attitude. You can’t keep the world’s second biggest rugby league competition stuck along one highway (M62).

“It will be a dying game here in 10 years. Only two TV games on a week, it’s ridiculous.”

Whilst Toulouse have launched a passionate attempt at trying to stay in the top flight, the French side’s dream will be cut short, but Peats perhaps does have a point.

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