Heineken Cup: Toulon coach Bernard Laporte has ban lifted ahead of final

Last Updated: 17/05/14 5:21pm

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Bernard Laporte: Toulon head coach clear of ban for final

Bernard Laporte: Toulon head coach clear of ban for final

Sky Bet

Toulon head coach Bernard Laporte will be allowed to give his team talk to his players at next Saturday's Heineken Cup final against Saracens.

The former France coach had been banned from the dressing room and surrounding areas at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff but his suspension has now been lifted by the National Rugby League (LNR).

The 49-year-old was handed a 13-game suspension by the LNR on February 12 after a bitter verbal attack on a referee on January 4.

His ban was then increased to 16 weeks on appeal by the French Rugby Federation, who also toughened the punishment by forbidding any contact from the stands with the players or the coaching staff during matches.

The original ban would have seen him on the sidelines until June 3, after both the Heineken Cup and Top 14 finals.

"I am very happy," Laporte said.

"I thank them (LNR) for this gesture and I will see if I will return to all my duties as coach for the remaining matches or continue to deploy the same strategy we have used during my suspension with Pierre Mignoni and Jacques Delmas (his assistant coaches)."

Toulon president Mourad Boudjellal said: "It is a gesture by the League that we will take into account with regard to our future attitude.

"Bernard deserved to be punished, but I believe the penalty imposed was over the top. What has taken place today redresses the balance a little."

Watch Toulon v Saracens live on Sky Sports 2 at 5pm next Saturday.

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