All-Black winger Julian Savea signs for Toulon

All-Black winger Julian Savea signs for Toulon

Toulon (France) (AFP) – French rugby club Toulon confirmed on Monday that they had signed All-Black winger Julian Savea, the top try scorer in the 2015 World Cup, for two seasons.

Savea, who is 27, scored eight tries as New Zealand won the last World Cup. He has 46 tries in 54 All Black appearances but has not been picked since July 2017 as coach Steve Hansen has prefered Rieko Ioane.

The 1.92 metre (6’4″), 103 kilogramme (227 lb) Savea, nicknamed “the Bus”, has played all his career in Wellington. His younger brother Ardie plays in the back row for the Hurricanes and All Blacks.

In a statement released jointly by the All Blacks and Wellington, Hansen called Savea “a devastating ball carrier who inspired other players with his physical talent and knack for scoring tries.”

Savea will finish the Super Rugby season with the Hurricanes before arriving in Toulon in early August.

There he will help replace the Fijian Semi Radradra, who is going to Top 14 rivals Bordeaux, and Kiwi centre Ma’a Nonu, who has said he is putting his career on hold.

“This is big news for us, one of the best wingers in the world, I’m just happy for the club,” said Mathieu Bastareaud, captain of Toulon and France in New Zealand where Les Bleus face the All Blacks in Wellington on Saturday.