Toulouse Olympique confirm departure of former Wigan Warriors duo and NRL star

It’s all change at Toulouse as they look to make good on their promise that they will return to Super League via promotion in 2023.

The French club, who defeated both Grand Finalists this season, said “we will be back” in a statement this week as they outlined the highs and lows of their inaugural Super League season which ended in disappointing relegation despite a superb mid-season which had Wakefield fans fearing the worst.

They hinted at things they’d like to change such as short turnarounds and noting that travel was a tough part of their first season in the big time.

Speaking of change, it’s all change in terms of personnel at the club with Toulouse confirming the departure of four first team stars today.

Former Wigan Warriors forward and ex-Super League champion with the Cherry and Whites back in 2018 Romain Navarrete is among them and is widely expected to return to Catalans where he made his Super League debut after time in the Elite One Championship and with Hemel Stags.

Another former Warrior in the shape of Matty Russell is also on his way out as he goes in search of Super League rugby after his second consecutive relegation this year.

Russell has played for Leigh, Toronto, Warrington – where he played in a Challenge Cup Final – Wigan and Hull FC on loan and is one of the most explosive runners around.

Unsurprisingly halfback Corey Norman is almost on the list. He was a massive part of Toulouse’s mid-season form but his lengthy ban at the end of the campaign all but ended their hopes of survival.

Whether he will return home in 2023 remains to be seen.

In other news, 2018 Lance Todd Trophy winner with Catalans, former Wakefield fullback and French international Tony Gigot is also on the move meaning Toulouse are now without the entire spine which masterminded their promotion with Johnathan Ford and Mark Kheirallah plying their trade at Featherstone.

You can read more about his departure here.

Maxime Puech has also left the club which the French side confirmed yesterday.

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