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Matt Toomua could dodge Rugby Australia cuts by making return to Premiership

Wallabies fly-half/centre Matt Toomua

MATT TOOMUA could make a quick return to the Premiership after having his pay cut by the Australian Rugby Union.

The Wallaby fly-half is one of several Australian internationals looking to move abroad later this year.

Toomua, 30, who is married to dual football and cricket international Ellyse Perry, returned home only 11 months ago to join Super Rugby franchise Melbourne Rebels.

He had spent the previous three seasons at Leicester Tigers before going home after a disappointing campaign at Welford Road.

Toomua, who can also play at inside centre, won the last of his 52 Test caps against England at the World Cup in Japan. He still has 18 months left on his contract.

He could be of interest to Bath who are looking for another fly-half to replace Freddie Burns and held talks with a couple of players before the Premiership lockdown.

Another potential target is Christian Leali’ifano, 32, who could leave the Brumbies and has been sounding out his options in the European market.

Auckland born Leali’ifano, who has Samoan heritage, has won 26 Test caps and had a loan spell with Ulster in 2017 following a successful battle against leukaemia.

Toomua and Leali’ifano are two of 192 professional Australian rugby players to have their pay slashed by the ARU in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.

Meanwhile, former New South Wales Waratahs star Bernard Foley, who is due to play in Japan for Kubota Spears, has also been mentioned over a possible Premiership move.

NEIL FISSLER

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