Scottish Daily Mail

FLOOD HAILS TOULOUSE TRIB­UTE

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ENG­LAND in­ter­na­tional Toby Flood has com­mended ‘a fan­tas­tic show of sol­i­dar­ity’ by four-time Euro­pean cham­pi­ons Toulouse af­ter they paid an emo­tional trib­ute to the Paris terror at­tack vic­tims. Flood joined his Toulouse team-mates in singing the French na­tional an­them La Mar­seil­laise on a rain-swept north Lon­don evening be­fore the Euro­pean Cham­pi­ons Cup opener against Sara­cens at Al­lianz Park. They were the only French team in Cham­pi­ons Cup ac­tion this week­end, with games sched­uled to be hosted by Rac­ing 92, Oy­on­nax, Bordeaux-Be­gles and Toulon all post­poned by tour­na­ment or­gan­is­ers Euro­pean Pro­fes­sional Club Rugby and French do­mes­tic rugby chiefs (Ligue Na­tionale de Rugby) fol­low­ing the Paris atroc­i­ties that left more than 120 dead. Un­sur­pris­ingly, it looked as though the Toulouse play­ers’ minds were else­where dur­ing much of a Pool One en­counter they lost 32-7 — their heav­i­est de­feat in Euro­pean com­pe­ti­tion since 2006 — and Flood ad­mit­ted it had been a dif­fi­cult day. ‘We de­cided to (sing the an­them) dur­ing the day, and there was a bit of learn­ing of words for me, but it was a fan­tas­tic show of sol­i­dar­ity,’ he said. ‘How­ever much it hurts to lose this game, it has been a pretty tough 24-48 hours for all those guys who have got friends and fam­ily who live in Paris and have lots of con­nec­tions there. ‘I think the guys ac­tu­ally wanted to play. They wanted to show they were ready for the game. But it was cer­tainly a game that we re­alised the im­por­tance of, be­ing the only French side to play.’

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