Toulon Handed Huge Fine Over Biggar Signing

Toulon have been fined €500,000 (£425,000) by French Top 14 rugby bosses over the signing of former Wales captain Dan Biggar from English side Northampton Saints in November 2022.

The three-time European Cup winners are accused of a lack of transparency by the Ligue Nationale de Rugby, following a disciplinary commission investigation.

The commission claims a severance compensation of up to £350,000 paid by Northampton to the 34-year-old fly-half was allegedly not declared by Toulon in official documents.

Top 14 sides are bound by a salary cap which is set at €10m (£8.5m) and such payments can have a bearing on that total.

However, in a statement Toulon said the club would contest the fine and pointed out that the salary cap had not been breached.

The statement read: "The Rugby Club Toulonnais has taken note of the decision of the disciplinary commission of the Ligue Nationale de Rugby relating to the failure to comply with the general obligation of transparency and cooperation concerning the salary cap.

"It should be noted above all that the Rugby Club Toulonnais has not exceeded the salary cap ceiling, which is also recognised by the Ligue Nationale de Rugby and its disciplinary committee.

"The conviction at first instance to a fine of €500,000 is firmly contested by the club which, as it has the possibility, will appeal this decision in the coming days to the appeals commission of the French Rugby Federation."

Biggar retired from international rugby after the 2023 Rugby World Cup, having won 109 caps for Wales and made three Test appearances for the British and Irish Lions.

But his Toulon career has been blighted by a lingering back injury suffered in November 2023, leading to speculation that Toulon could cut short his contract, which has another year left to run.

However, Biggar's return to fitness towards the end of the season saw Toulon president and owner Bernard Lemaitre suggest he still had plenty to offer.

“When Dan came back from the World Cup he had a bit of a downturn, which was compounded by his surprising back injury while attempting a conversion,” Lemaitre told Le Figaro.

“It took him a very long time to come back. We therefore asked ourselves the question of what to do next. But he answered it.

“He wants to complete his contract and even, if possible, extend it for another year. We’ll see. Next season will be decisive as far as he is concerned.”