Toulouse 'surprised' by Johnston's call-up

2015-07-07 10:54
Census Johnston (Getty Images)

Toulouse - Toulouse have expressed their "surprise" at the call-up of prop Census Johnston for Samoa's historic home Test match against New Zealand on Wednesday.

The 34-year-old, who has played 47 Tests for Samoa since 2005, had announced his international retirement in April but has been training with the Samoa squad in recent weeks and is set to feature in the match in Apia, the first appearance in Samoa by the All Blacks, who have won all five previous Tests between the two countries played in New Zealand.

But Toulouse's newly-installed sporting director Fabien Pelous was quick to denounce the move.

"The club's position is quite clear," he said. "We thought up until a few days ago that Census had retired from international rugby.

"So the fact that he's playing this match, that surprised us a little, that has unsettled us to be honest."

Pelous also wondered whether Johnston might be tempted to play at the September 18-October 31 Rugby World Cup, where Samoa have been drawn in Pool B alongside South Africa, Japan, Scotland and the United States.

"We'll see if it's only this match or if there's a view to him playing the World Cup and we'll decide what to do when we know what he has decided," said the former France lock, ruling out any sanctions.

"What's important for us is to prepare internally for the first four games (of the Top 14 season) should he by chance play the World Cup."

Read more on:    samoa  |  toulouse  |  rugby

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