All Black superstar unwanted at Toulon
IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Julian Savea has been told he is ‘no longer welcome’ at Toulon according to shock reports emerging from France.
Toulon owner Mourad Boudjellal has said that the All Black is ‘not the player’ he signed after another poor outing for the Top 14 side, Rugbypass reported
“I’m going to ask for a DNA test. It is not Savea that we recreated but ‘Savéapas’. They had to change it on the plane. If I were him, I would apologize and I would go home.
“When we reach this level of play, we must apologize and leave … I told him he was released and he was no longer welcome in Toulon!” Boudjellal told RMC Sport.
The 28-year-old is in his first Top 14 season, shifting to France after the Hurricanes’ 2018 Super Rugby campaign. He has largely been a flop since landing in France, and has played much of his rugby out of position at 12.
Savea’s mid-season leave to attend his brother’s wedding in December caused backlash from Toulon fans, to which his wife responded.
“Let me set the record straight,” Fatima Savea – Julian’s wife – tweeted. “Before Julian signed his contract he asked for time off in December to attend his ONLY brother’s wedding. So this was agreed upon by both the club and Julian or else Julian would not have come to Toulon in September and instead in January.”
He was capped by the All Blacks 54 times and scored 46 tries, giving him one of the best try scoring strike rates in international rugby history.
And after failing to make the Top 14 play-offs for the first time since 2012 Savea was by no means the only target for Boudjellal’s frustration.
Referring to fly-half Anthony Belleau he said: “I can see why he isn’t starting for France given his current level.
“Some players are average because they want to leave and others because they won’t be as well paid anywhere else. A lot will be let go.”
Rugbypass & AFP
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