When Toulouse players run out for their Champions Cup semi-final with Leinster this weekend, they would be forgiven for their minds drifting almost 800 kilometres south-east where the fire-ravaged Notre Dame sits.
There’s no question whether they will be able to focus on the game at hand; they’re professionals, after all, but it’s hard not to spend a moment contemplating the fire that has done so much damage to the French landmark, which is visited by nearly 13 million people each year.
It won’t just be the players’ condolences that they’ll send back to Paris, however.
Instead, Toulouse jerseys will be auctioned off after the game to raise funds for the future revitalisation of the 850 year-old Notre Dame. These jerseys, worn during the match with Leinster, will be emblazoned with an image of the French icon.
— Stade Toulousain (@StadeToulousain) April 16, 2019
“What happened at the start of the week has not only touched the French people: it’s touched every member of the planet who has been affected by the tragedy of this universal and unifying symbol,” said Toulouse president Didier Lacroix.
“With the match this Sunday on the national and European stage, it seems natural that Toulouse will play its part, participating in this movement of solidarity born out of this disaster and towards the beginnings of the future reconstruction.”
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