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'He seems to have done unforgivable wrongs in the eyes of the club's management'

By Ian Cameron
Louis Carbonel during warm up before the 2021 Guinness Six Nations Rugby Championship match between Italy and France at the Olimpic Stadium (Photo by Lorenzo Di Cola/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

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A group of Toulon supporters have launched a petition to protest the departure at the end of the season of Louis Carbonel – their homegrown France flyhalf.

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Carbonel is heading to league-leading Montpellier, a move that has disheartened the supporters of Toulon, who are suffering one of their worst Top 14 campaigns in a decade.

A supporters collective called the Minots de Mayol are behind the petition and are begging the club to reconsider the release of the player. Carbonel is a product of the club and many envisaged the 23-year-old as the club’s starting 10 for years to come.

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“Because Louis Carbonel is the future great flyhalf that we have been waiting for so much, that we have seen grow up and grab all the trophies.”

“A youngster of the “Wilkinson Generation”, whose model was the English metronome and the bubbling Matt Giteau.

“From Jonny, he inherited precision kicking for posts and the vision of the game. From Giteau, an unbridled attacking game and life-saving breakthroughs. From his father, the incandescent talent and the Rouge et Noir deep in the guts.”

“At 23, he took the keys to the truck. In a moribund team, he held the barracks as best he could. And as soon as his forwards were able to show themselves dominating again, he showed Rugby France that he has nothing to envy in his companions [Romain] Ntamack and [Mathieu] Jalibert.

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The statement from the group goes on to say: “There are players that you can’t imagine in another jersey. P’tit Louis is one of them. He seems to have done unforgivable wrongs in the eyes of the club’s management. If his crime is to have expressed with forces his discomfort or he’s fed up with a club under the leaden screed of a manager who has since landed, well he took it. Who would deny the renewal since?”

The group admit that keeping the playmaker could realistically be too late.

“Today, it may be too late, but if there is still a slim hope of pushing the club’s management to question its choice, let’s dare to seize this opportunity.”

The petition has garnered over 2,500 signatures to date.

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