All Black return to Toulon
TRANSFER NEWS: All Black centre Ma’a Nonu has been named as a starter for Toulon’s Top 14 match against Agen on Saturday.
But head coach Patrice Collazo resisted the urge to call up Toulon’s France internationals, released for potential domestic duty after Sunday’s year-end Nations Cup match between Les Bleus and Fiji was cancelled because of positive COVID-19 cases among the Fijians.
Nonu, a two-time World Cup winner, was initially not part of the match-day squad named Thursday, but the 38-year-old now finds himself thrust into midfield alongside Australian Duncan Paia’aua just two weeks after his arrival in France.
The All Black, capped 103 times for New Zealand, spent three seasons with Toulon between 2015-18, and will team up with two fellow Kiwis against Agen: winger Bryce Heem and centre Isaia Toeava.
Toeava shifts to flyhalf in the absence of the rested Louis Carbonel.
France skipper Charles Ollivon, lock Romain Taofifenua and prop Jean-Baptiste Gros will have a weekend without rugby after Collazo decided against calling them up.