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Toulon would not be the only team breaking down borders in sport

Published 21/01/2016

Catalans Dragons are the only French club in rugby league's Super League.
Catalans Dragons are the only French club in rugby league's Super League.

Top French rugby union club Toulon have indicated their intention to apply for membership of England's Aviva Premiership. Here Press Association Sport's Mark Staniforth takes a look at other instances in which teams and clubs have crossed geographical boundaries in the name of sport:

CRICKET:

In 1921, Glamorgan became the first Welsh county elected to what was then - and is still now - known as the English County Championship. They play under the auspices of the England and Wales Cricket Board, and Welsh players are automatically eligible to play for England. Some, notably the Welsh nationalist party Plaid Cymru, have long argued that Wales should follow the likes of Scotland and Ireland in establishing their own national cricket team.

FOOTBALL:

Many clubs in Europe play in the leagues of other countries. Swansea, Cardiff and Newport have dispensation from the FA of Wales to continue to play in the Football League. Berwick play in the Scottish League for geographical reasons, and Derry City play in the Republic of Ireland for political reasons. Monaco play in France as the principality does not have its own professional league, while leading clubs from Liechtenstein and San Marino play in Switzerland and Italy respectively.

RUGBY LEAGUE:

French franchise Catalans Dragons were elected to Super League in 2006, beating competition from prospective clubs in Toulouse and Villeneuve. They became the first non-English club to reach the Challenge Cup final one year later. Previously, a franchise had existed in Paris, but it only lasted for two seasons. Four clubs from France, as well as two from Russia, are eligible to take part in the Challenge Cup each year.

BASEBALL:

The Toronto Blue Jays are currently the only Canadian Franchise in Major League Baseball. They were formed in 1977 and won back-to-back World Series titles in 1992 and 1993. They were not the first Canadian franchise - the Montreal Expos joined MLB in 1969. However amid falling spectator numbers, they split their final three seasons between Montreal and San Juan, Puerto Rico, before relocating to Washington in 2004.

HANDBALL:

In 2007 British handball moved its entire squad and headquarters to Denmark in a bid to establish a team competitive enough to take part in the London 2012 Olympics. British teams played against a number of Danish league teams as well as other minor international competition before a significant funding cut prompted many members of the squad to seek employment elsewhere. They got to 2012 and lost all their matches.

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