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Savea to Toulon speculation increases


All Black Savea to Toulon speculation takes new twist

Mathieu Bastareaud is excited by the prospect of Julian Savea making a high profile move to Toulon.

The prolific Hurricanes wing, fourth on the list of New Zealand’s all-time leading try-scorers, is reportedly on the verge of signing a two-year deal with the Top 14 side.

Savea has not played for the All Blacks since facing the British and Irish Lions last year and does not appear to be in Steve Hansen’s plans.

The 27-year-old flyer is said to have agreed to move to France at the end of the Super Rugby season, which is music to the ears of Toulon captain Bastareaud.

“This is big news for us, one of the best wingers in the world, I’m just happy for the club.” said the centre, who will lead France out in the second Test against the world champions at Westpac Stadium on Saturday.

Savea has scored 46 tries in 54 Tests for the All Blacks.

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Last October Savea was linked to a short-term move to Harlequins, something which was robustly denied by his wife at the time.

Savea has not played for the All Blacks since July 2017, but Hansen has previously stated that the Hurricanes winger is still under consideration.

“Julian’s been a very, very good All Black for us and done some great things – I feel for him a wee bit at this stage,” Hansen said.

“He’s disappointed and so he should be. He’s done a lot in the jersey, he’s enhanced it when he’s worn it and his time’s not over.”

Toulon were forced into a robust denial that their England international Chris Ashton had asked to leave the club.

Ashton broke the Top 14 try-scoring record in a magnificent first season in France this year after his move from Saracens.

The rugby league convert said he still harbours ambitions of playing for his country after scoring a hat-trick in the Barbarians’ recent victory over Eddie Jones’ side.

It was reported Ashton has requested to have his Toulon contract cancelled in order to head back to his homeland and put himself in the frame for an England recall, but the three-time European champions say he wants to extend his stay at Stade Mayol.

“Following rumours circulating on some media, Toulon confirms that winger Chris Ashton is still under contract with the club for two seasons,” the club said in a statement.

“To date, no request for termination of contract has been made by Chris Ashton. On the contrary, the English winger has asked for an extension of his contract.

“The club is studying this possibility. Any other information disseminated in the media may be considered completely unfounded.”

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All Black Savea to Toulon speculation takes new twist