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Tolofua seals move to France

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Saracens hooker Christopher Tolofua heading back to the Top 14

After moving to Saracens in 2017, French international hooker Christopher Tolofua is calling time on his stint in the Gallagher Premiership and returning to France.

Tolofua joined Saracens from Toulouse, where he had spent five years in the club’s senior side, after having emerged from the team’s productive academy.

The 25-year-old’s signing has been confirmed now by Toulon, who are losing French captain Guilhem Guirado next season. The departure of Guirado was confirmed by Mourad Boudjellal on Friday and the 32-year-old’s destination is thought to likely be Montpellier.

Tolofua is a natural replacement for Guirado and will see out the remainder of his contract with Saracens, before making the move across the channel for the beginning of the 2019/20 season.

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Unfortunately for Tolofua, starts have been hard to come by in north London and he was sat behind Jamie George and Schalk Brits for much of last season. He has been unable to usurp England international George and whilst his opportunities have increased since Brits’ departure, he is not in the mix for enough playing time to really push for selection for the French national team.

The hooker, who made his debut for France at the age of 18, has signed a three-year contract at Toulon and will compete with the likes of Anthony Étrillard, Badri Alkhazashvili and Bastien Soury for the starting spot.

With Toulon currently rooted near the bottom of the Top 14 table, sitting at 13th, don’t expect Tolofua to be the last of the signings made for next season, with the former Champions Cup heavyweights keen to bounce back to relevance in French and European rugby.

As for Saracens, they will still have George under contract next season, with potential back-up options such as Scott Spurling, Tom Woolstencroft and Tadgh McElroy. Joe Gray, who has been signed on a short-term deal until the end of the season, could also see his deal extended, whilst former Saracens U18 hooker Kapeli Pifeleti recently won his first cap for the USA Eagles, potentially making a visa and his signing possible moving forward.

Watch: Rassie Erasmus discusses South Africa’s upcoming end of year tour, which starts this weekend against England.

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Saracens hooker Christopher Tolofua heading back to the Top 14