North v South back on the table
North v South back on the tableSHARE
The much-talked about showdown between the champion teams from the Northern and Southern Hemispheres seems to be back on the table.
Reports from France seems to suggest plans are afoot to arrange a match between European Cup champions Toulon and Super Rugby champions the Chiefs.
The proposed and lucrative north-south play-off has been raised as a possibility several times in the past, but never actually got off the ground as a result of the numerous logistical issues involved – especially the clashing of the seasons of the European Cup and Super Rugby seasons.
However, it appears powerful Toulon boss Mourad Boudjellal has again tabled the idea of the European Cup champions taking on the Super Rugby champions in a world club championship match.
The cash-flush French outfit, Toulon, currently has a host of high-profile international stars on the club's books – the likes of Carl Hayman , Jonny Wilkinson, Matt Giteau and Bakkies Botha, along with recent signings Ali Williams and Bryan Habana.
The Midi Olympique newspaper reported that February 2 had been sounded out as a date for the "World Cup of Clubs".
That coincides with a break in the French Top 14 season, but would obviously see the Chiefs in buildup mode for the defence of their Super Rugby title which they have won for the last two years.
There is a complication with the proposed Sunday fixture in France coming the day after France host England on the opening weekend of the Six Nations.
Toulon would be without some of their Test stars.
The report suggested venues for the match include the Allianz Arena in Nice and the Stade Louis II in Monaco.
The crowded calendar has been a major stumbling block to this happening in the past and organisers still need to get agreement from European Rugby Cup Ltd .
There is reportedly strong interest from broadcasters for the match.