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Nakarawa heads to Toulon exit with Prem clubs sniffing

By Ian Cameron
Leone Nakarawa /Getty

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Fiji second row Leone Nakawara is heading towards the exit at Toulon – according to reports coming out of France.

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According to Midi Olympique, RCT do not want to offer the former Glasgow Warriors fan favourite a new contract despite the versatile forward having featured 14 times for the Var this season alone.

On the surface, it appears like an odd move for Toulon and the 33-year-old.

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Nakawara had been set to sign for Ulster last summer until the Irish province pulled out of the deal after they received ‘a detailed medical report’ that appeared to cast doubt on his fitness – understood to be a knee issue. It worked out okay for Ulster who eventually signed Rugby World Cup-winning Springboks Duane Vermeulen, possibly with the help of spare cash from the failed bid to sign the Fijian.

It is unlikely that he will remain without a club for long, with a number of Premiership sides apparently eager to take him. Pat Lam’s Bristol are one club that have been linked with the 6’6, 112kg forward, while Bath have previously been rumoured to be a possible destination, although Nathan Hughes’ emergence might have dampened their need for the back five forward.

Nakarawa has had an interesting club career that has seen him enjoy two stints at Glasgow Warriors, as well as time at Racing 92 and most recently Toulon. His contract in Paris was terminated early after he failed to return to the team on time following the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.

He isn’t the only big-name forward leaving Stade Mayol. The club have chosen not to take an option on a third year for former Wallaby Lopeti Timani. Timani played has switched allegiance back to Tonga, playing his first game for the country of his birth.

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The 31-year-old arrived at RCT from La Rochelle last year and the 6’4, 125kg backrow will no doubt not be long finding a new club.

Near the bottom of the Top 14, the club have already confirmed the departure of Springbok lock Eben Etzebeth and France flyhalf Louis Carbonel.

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