Toulouse have confirmed that captain Johnathan Ford has left the club two weeks before the start of their debut Super League season.
Ford, 32, has left the club due to family and personal reasons, Toulouse have confirmed.
The half-back has spent 11 seasons with the club, playing 190 games and scoring 53 tries. As captain, he led the club to Super League promotion for the first time in their history. The side open their 2022 campaign at home to Huddersfield.
Ford had received the number six shirt for the 2022 season, partnering Lucas Albert in the halves.
The club added in a statement: “The entire Toulouse Olympique team is grateful for his contribution to the history of the club. We wish him the best.”
Trouble in Toulouse
Toulouse have confirmed that the club is in talks with players over their vaccination status ahead of the 2022 season.
The French Government is set to announce that all athletes who wish to compete in France will have to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
It means that only players who are vaccinated will be able to travel to face Catalans and Toulouse.
While guidance remains unclear, it could mean that unvaccinated players playing for Toulouse could only play in away games or even not at all.
Catalans have reportedly confirmed that all players and staff have been vaccinated.
Vaccination talks continue
A statement read: “Following recent government announcements related to the health restrictions imposed on athletes playing in France; Toulouse Olympique is indeed still in conversation with certain players on this subject.
“The club wishes to respect medical secrecy and therefore will not reveal the names of the players concerned.
“To date, the 27 players in the squad are still contracted to Toulouse Olympique XIII.
“The club has no further comment at this stage.”
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