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Parisse lines up Toulon extension but the outlook is reportedly different for ex-All Blacks duo Nonu and Toeava

By Sam Smith

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Ex-Italy international Sergio Parisse is reportedly poised to secure an extension to his career at Toulon but the same can’t be said for fellow 30-something veterans Ma’a Nonu and Isaia Toeava, the pair of All Blacks World Cup winners who arrived at the French club for the 2020/21 season.  

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Parisse, the 142-cap Italian back row who turns 38 in September, caused a stir in French rugby when he left his long-time club Stade Francais and came to Toulon in 2019. He spoke in March this year about wanting to extend his career for another season.  

“I understood two things: I still want to play and I am certain that I still have something to bring to the field,” he said. “My priority is to finish my career at RCT. I’m already in very advanced discussions with the club, but I will make an announcement as soon as everything is fixed. For the rest, it is true that I would like to coach. But today my only priority is to know where I will play in 2021/2022.”

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Midi Olympique, the bi-weekly French rugby newspaper, have now reported that no deal has yet been signed but they believe what is being discussed is a one-year player/coach deal for Parisse, not simply a play-only deal.    

While Toulon seemingly having every intention of keeping Parisse on board for the 2021/22 season, their stance regarding their 2011 World Cup-winning All Blacks is said to be very different.  

With Nonu set to turn 39 next month, it appears that age has finally caught up with the New Zealand superstar who has 103 Test caps to his name. Having first come to Toulon following the All Blacks’ 2015 World Cup win, Nonu moved on to the Blues and the San Diego Legion before returning to the French club last September but he is currently serving a three-game ban for a red card and Midi are reporting that his one-year deal won’t be extended. 

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It’s a similar situation with Toeava, the 35-year-old who came to Toulon this season following five years at Top 14 rivals Clermont. Although he has made 15 appearances this term and was a useful player to have in the absence of Louis Carbonel, it’s believed he will not at the club for the 2021/2022 campaign. 

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Parisse lines up Toulon extension but the outlook is reportedly different for ex-All Blacks duo Nonu and Toeava

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