Giving Toulouse a Super League spot is "no-brainer" for Harrison Hansen
Harrison Hansen believes it is a “no-brainer” to hand Toulouse the 12th spot in Super League next year.
The French club are vying with York, Bradford, London Broncos, Featherstone and Leigh to fill the vacancy created by Toronto’s failure to gain re-admission to Super League.
A seven-strong panel will consider the applications and are expected to announce their decision by December 16.
Forward Hansen moved to Toulouse a year ago after a stellar career with Wigan – in which he won two Grand Finals and two Challenge Cup Finals – as well as Salford, Leigh and Widnes.
And the 35-year-old is convinced the Championship outfit would enhance the top-flight if they got the nod.
“It’s a no-brainer for me,” the Samoan international said.
“People may think I’m being biased here because I play for Toulouse, but having been at the club and seen the direction the team is going, how good the stadium is, the coaching staff, the players – we would 100 per cent be competitive at that level and we’d add a lot to Super League.
“Can you imagine how good it would be having two French teams (along with Catalans) in the competition?”
Hansen says many UK fans would enjoy an away day to Toulouse if they were in Super League.
And their presence in the top flight would go some way to softening the criticism the club chiefs faced for not allowing Toronto back into the fop-flight, following their withdrawal just before the season recommenced after lockdown.
Their average attendance in the Championship last year was 2,488 - lower than Bradford and Leigh - but Hansen is convinced they have potential to grow given Toulouse is the fourth largest city in France.
And, he says, their biggest advantage over many of the other clubs vying for the 12th spot is the strength of their squad - especially as the decision will be made so late in the day, giving the new club little time to recruit.
“I’ve seen the criteria and some of it is about their social media profile... yes there’ll be other clubs will a few more likes on Facebook,” said the ex-Warriors favourite.
“But there is so much going for Toulouse.
"We’ve no financial worries, and the stadium is incredible. Honestly, it's probably the best ground I have played at, it’s that good.
“And when you look at Bradford and York and Featerstone, they’ve got some good players but they’re mainly part time.
"I bet some of their lads have got good jobs - what are they expected to do if they got in? Quit their main jobs, play full-time for a season and then look for a job again if they get relegated?”
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