54-cap All Blacks wing and Hurricanes centurion Julian Savea is heading back to New Zealand and could be back on the pitch in the near future.

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Savea, who was a member of the All Blacks side that won the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England, has announced on Instagram that his time with European powerhouse Toulon has come to an end after spending two seasons in the south of France.

The man nicknamed ‘the Bus’ relocated to France after the 2018 Super Rugby season and has amassed almost 40 caps for the team that has attracted world-class rugby talent from across the globe.

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The likes of Drew Mitchell, Chris Ashton, Semi Radradra and Bryan Habana have all spent time in Toulon’s outside backs while Savea’s fellow Kiwi, Bryce Heem, joined the side last year.

Nehe Milner-Skudder, the man who partnered Savea on the wings in the All Blacks’ run to their World Cup success in 2015, was due to join Toulon for the current season but didn’t make the trip over due to a shoulder injury and has now signed with the Highlanders for the new Super Rugby Aotearoa competition.

Savea could also be looking to link up with a New Zealand Super club now that the current Top 14 season has been called off and the damaging winger is set to touch back down in his home country but given that most squads have already been sorted, he may simply be looking to take some time out from the game to spend with his family after playing almost non-stop for the last decade.

“Thank you to those who have supported me over the past two season here at RCT,” Savea posted on Instagram. “I will forever be thankful for this experience and my time in Toulon.”

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“Very bittersweet moment not getting to end the season the way I wanted to, but also very excited for this next journey ahead of me. I want to thank all my brothers that I’ve played with over the past two seasons, you guys are very special to me and I’ve made some life long friendships I will cherish forever.

“I want to thank @rctofficiel, the coaching staff and the management for always being good to us. It’s been a long journey and not a pretty one either but the highs definitely outweigh the lows,” he added.

Savea also posted a video conversation between himself and his younger brother, All Blacks flanker Ardie.

“I’m open to anything,” Julian said regarding his future. “Ideally, I’d like to be back with the ‘Canes.

“If that doesn’t happen, it could be another franchise, it could be Japan, it could be the NZ Warriors.”

“The [Top 14] season is done and I’m coming home soon, hopefully, once everything dies down,” Julian told his brother.

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“And I guess trying to get back into New Zealand rugby or find another contract but that’s a five-month, six-month timeline in terms of what could happen because the Covid-19 is still ongoing.

“We’re waiting for everything to calm down and when teams and organisations are ready to sign again.”

Savea played 120 matches for the Hurricanes between 2011 and 2018, scoring 52 tries in the process – placing him tenth on all the time Super Rugby try-scorers list.

His All Blacks debut came against Ireland in 2012, in the same match as Aaron Smith and Brodie Retallick.

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