Five weeks have passed since controversial owner Mourad Boudjellal lashed out at the 54-test wing for a subpar performance against Agen on February 16, with Savea not featuring in Toulon’s following three matches.
Consequently, Boudjellal suggested that Savea was no longer welcome at the club, despite being less than a year into his two-season deal with Toulon.
Boudjellal’s criticism was followed by a barrage of social media abuse targeted at Savea and his family by Toulon fans, but that hasn’t diminished the desire of the 2015 World Cup-winner to continue plying his trade in the south of France.
He could be set to reap the rewards for his commitment to the club as early as this weekend, with reports from France suggesting the 28-year-old is in contention for a spot in the match day squad for this weekend’s away clash against Lyon as the side assembled for training on Thursday.
Without the services of Savea, Toulon have won two of their three fixtures in the Top 14, but a 21-18 defeat at the hands of last year’s finalists Montpellier last weekend has significantly dented their hopes of a playoffs spot.
Stuck in 10th spot on the domestic table with no European rugby left to play for after being bundled out of the Champions Cup in the pool play, re-calling Savea may be what is needed to turn Toulon’s season around with only seven matches left to play.
With an underwhelming campaign nearing its conclusion for the four-time French and three-time European champions, Boudjellal claimed some of the responsibility in a recent interview with L’Equipe.
“My thirteenth season at the club is more like a Friday 13,” the outspoken owner said.
“The season is dead, we will not play the finals, but there is still our honour to save and prepare the next season.
“There is a failure, because of a combination of things. I have a significant share of responsibility and especially the instability of recent years. The future begins today.”
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