Out of favour All Blacks wing Julian Savea has signed a two-year deal to join RC Toulon, according to reports in France.
Owner Mourad Boudjellal has made the move after a turbulent end to the season for the three-time champions of Europe, with an announcement confirming the deal expected on Thursday.
Toulon sacked coach Fabien Galthie earlier this month after shortcomings in the Top 14 barrages and Champions Cup, replacing him with ex-Gloucester prop Patrice Collazo who taking the reins.
Savea eases the burden on the impending exits of current backline stars Ma’a Nonu and Semi Radradra. While Chris Ashton has told the club he wishes to leave in order to make a late run at England’s squad for the Japan World Cup next year.
Despite a formidable strike rate for New Zealand – 46 tries in 54 caps – Savea has fallen out of Steve Hansen’s plans in recent times, missing out on selection for the British & Irish Lions Tour and November Tests last year.
The emergence of Reiko Ioane has proven enough to drop Savea in Hansen’s mind – a luxury held against the Hurricanes wing who is only four tries away from breaking Doug Howlett’s record for most tries by an All Black.
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