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Chiefs v Toulon match canned

Fri, 13 Dec 2013 07:09
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We have not ruled out playing matches off-shore in the future

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The proposed exhibition match between Super Rugby champions the Chiefs and European Cup champions Toulon will not take place this season.

The Chiefs released their pre-season schedule on Friday, which sees them face the Reds and the Blues and not Toulon after both teams failed to get clearance from their national bodies.

There were other obstacles to making the North-South showdown happen, including travel logistics, the availability of top players and injuries.

Apparently Toulon's wealthy owner Mourad Boudjellal had offered to pay the Chiefs' expenses in return for the Waikato franchise's playing a full-strength side, but it was not to be.

Instead the Chiefs will travel to Queensland to face the Reds on February 8 before taking on the Blues in Rotorua a week later on Feburay 14.

Chiefs CEO Andrew Flexman explained that it was just not possible to organise the showdown, but did not rule out participating in a similar match in future.

"The Toulon match was always contingent on our being able to take a full strength squad, however because of our circumstances, this has changed, and so now we will put our focus on our existing pre-season campaign and an important season ahead.  

"We have not ruled out playing matches off-shore in the future," he said.

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