Toulon in turmoil

French rugby’s big spenders Toulon’s nightmare introduction to the big leagues continued when they were whipped 56-3 by Northampton in the European Challenge Cup.

Coach Tana Umaga’s side have lost four of their seven Top 14 matches and drawn one to date, and have now started their European campaign in the worst possible way.

Umaga will point to the fact that he had rested the majority of his leading players, including South Africans Ross Skeate, Joe van Niekerk and Tiaan Liebenberg. But billionaire owner Mourad Boudjellal, seated in the stands, was reportedly visibly unhappy at yet another defeat.

In April of this year reported that Boudjellal had approached current Leicester Tigers coach Heyneke Meyer about the possibility of taking over from Umaga, during a lean spell for the southern France club. Meyer declined but Umaga will no doubt be feeling the heat after a similar run of results.