Toulouse not expecting any further departures after Ford exit

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Toulouse chief Cedric Garcia is not expecting any further departures following the shock exit of Johnathon Ford.

Long-serving Ford, 32, left the club due to ‘personal reasons’ less than three weeks before their first Super League game.

His exit came a week after it was confirmed that Toulouse were in talks with unvaccinated players.

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Following a change to regulations in France, all players must be vaccinated to be able to play and train.

Although Garcia refused to say if Ford’s exit was linked to those discussions, he told PA that he does not anticipate any further departures.

Prolific full-back Mark Kheirallah, who had been linked with an exit, returned to training on Wednesday.

Reports elsewhere state that the France international has been offered round other Super League clubs.

Toulouse themselves are in the market too as they seek a replacement for Ford.

Garcia said: “We are in the market for sure but we don’t have any leads. It is not the best time to recruit.

“But four players left us last year just before the season and we bounced back. I am confident we will do so again.”

Super League countdown

Toulouse face Catalans in a pre-season friendly on Saturday.

Coach Sylvain Houles will announce his new captain ahead of the game.

He currently has a squad of 26 players ahead of their season opener against Huddersfield on February 12.

Huddersfield coach Ian Watson is expecting to be without a handful of players for the trip.

He said: “We’ve got quite a few that will miss out, we are up to around 83% vaccinated which is good but we would have liked to go with a full-strength team, so there will be players missing.

“If the government says they can’t play sport unless they’re vaccinated like in France then that’s a totally different kettle of fish and people have to make a decision to make about how badly they want to play or do that job.”

MORE: Is Johnathan Ford’s departure a chance for Tony Gigot to shine?

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