Toulon get fresh capital to guarantee Top 14 spot

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Toulon - Toulon announced on Tuesday that it had increased its capital to ensure it kept its place in the Top 14.

There were rumours that Toulon, last season's losing Top 14 finalists, faced relegation to the second tier ProD2 because of a two-million-euro debt, 1.7m of which was a fine from a court ruling after breaking contract with former clothing sponsor Puma.

But the new capital will now allow the southern club "to keep its place in the elite of French rugby", it said.

Outspoken president Mourad Boudjellal now holds 93 percent of the shares, with the remaining seven percent held by the Association of Toulon Rugby Club. Previously Boudjellal possessed 51% and the Association 49%.

This move "will allow Toulon Rugby Club to respond to the demands" of the DNACG, French rugby's financial watchdog, the club said.

With Boudjellal firmly in the driving seat, Toulon weathered the departure of Australian utility back James O'Connor to Sale by signing Springbok winger JP Pietersen from Leicester on a two-year deal.

The club also announced the signing of fly-half Jonathan Wisniewski from Grenoble for three years, with Pierre Bernard having left to Biarritz.

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