La Rochelle back-row Gregory Alldritt has said he is proud of his teammates despite falling to a 22-17 Heineken Champions Cup final defeat to Toulouse yesterday afternoon at Twickenham Stadium. 

The maiden Heineken Champions Cup finalists already faced a mammoth task in attempting to defeat the now five-time European champions, but that task was made even tougher in the 27th minute when Levani Botia was shown a red card for a high tackle. 

They ended the first half on top though and set up a grandstand finish when Tawera Kerr-Barlow dived over the Toulouse try line to bring La Rochelle back within five points. 

“We are all proud of this group, this team,” Alldritt said after the match. We showed that we had character. As Jono said, we will have mixed feelings over the next 24 hours. 

We know that we did a lot, that we put a lot of energy into getting to this point and the aim will be to translate all of that into the end of the season, so that the energy we put into the Champions Cup is not lost for the end of the season. 

I’m proud of the group, the 23, the 30 who were here, [proud of] the rising stars who played at Brive so that we could prepare for the game, proud of our club, of our family who are waiting for us in La Rochelle, proud of all our supporters who have never left us. 

I’m sure they will not leave us and for our part, we will not give up. We will keep goingwe will not give up; we will keep our heads held high.  

But over the next 48 hours, we will have to digest it all.