Julian Savea has confirmed his move to Toulon, with the New Zealand international signing a two-year deal with the Top 14 club.
Winger Savea scored 46 tries in 54 Test appearances for the All Blacks and was part of the successful squad who lifted the World Cup on English soil in 2015.
The 27-year-old was under contract to New Zealand Rugby until the end of the 2019 season but has been released to continue his career in France.
“Julian goes with our blessing and we know that French rugby fans will quickly embrace him as their own,” New Zealand Rugby chief executive Steve Tew said in a statement.
“We thank Julian for his contribution to rugby in New Zealand and we wish him and his family well for their move to Toulon.”
It’s been an absolute pleasure New Zealand thank you for everything @Hurricanesrugby @AllBlacks & @WgtnRugby I’ve absolutely loved playing for my country for the past decade. Looking forward to this new adventure & joining @RCTofficiel in a few months #AuRevoir pic.twitter.com/IanNDxleNP
— Julian Savea (@juliansavea7) June 18, 2018
All Blacks coach Steve Hansen also praised the departing Savea, who only sits behind Doug Howlett on the all-time try-scoring list for his country.
“Jules can be incredibly proud of everything he has achieved in the black jersey,” Hansen said. “He is a devastating ball runner who inspired others with his physicality and try-scoring prowess.
“On behalf of all the All Blacks, we want to wish Julian and his family all the very best and thank him for everything he has done for the All Blacks.”
Savea – who has made over a century of appearances for the Hurricanes – will join his new employers in August, once the Super Rugby season has concluded.
He will be part of a star-studded Toulon squad that includes former international team-mates Malakai Fekitoa and Liam Messam, as well as English winger Chris Ashton.
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