4 Nov 2008

More pressure of Umaga at Toulon

10:35 am on 4 November 2008

According to reports in the French media, players at embattled French Top 14 rugby club Toulon are on the verge of 'mass action' in support of Head Coach Tana Umaga.

Toulon are slowing spiraling towards crisis. Following the axing of forwards coach Jean-Jacques Crenca and the arrival of his replacement Aubin Hueber, Toulon took a six-try hammering away to Montauban last weekend.

It was announced yesterday that former wallabies coach John Connolly will be used as a consultant, only reinforced the feeling that Umaga's head was on the chopping block.

According to French daily Midi Olympique the players have been arranging secret meetings via text messages to resolve their issues and to form a plan of action - possibly starting with a strike.

The Pacific players are said to be threatening to climb onto the first plane home if Umaga is fired.

Club president Mourad Boudjellal made a point of stating his support for Umaga during the weekend but the arrival of Connolly, who is expected to undertake a coaching audit to "understand why things are not working", is a clear sign that all is not well.

Toulon's players will be on holiday this week as the there are no Top 14 matches this weekend, but the coaching staff seem to have their work cut out for them.