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Savea savaging: Rugby world reacts

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The rugby world's unanimous response to Boudjellal's savaging of Savea

A raft of rugby legends have leapt to the defence of All Blacks and Toulon winger Julian Savea after Mourad Boudjellal’s criticism of him.

Toulon’s President made a diatribe against Savea after their loss to Agen at the weekend, saying that the 28-year-old was “no longer welcome” and should “go home”, and said that this was not the player that he thought he was signing.

The outspoken businessman said that Savea was released from the three-time European Champions, in what is the latest installment in a turbulent season for Toulon.

Savea responded brilliantly on Twitter, saying that he will continue to turn up and train and keep a positive attitude, and a huge number of stars supported his approach.

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Julian’s brother Ardie was one of the first to show his support for the 6ft 3 winger:

Joe Rokocoko, who is joint second leading try-scorer alongside Savea and Christian Cullen for the All Blacks, also showed his support, highlighting the importance of his attitude during this:

Former Toulon winger and World Cup winner Bryan Habana echoed Savea’s hashtag #onwardsandupwards:

All Blacks teammates Jerome Kaino and Ngani Laumape, as well as Ireland international Bundee Aki also joined in the support for Savea on Twitter:

Savea once looked like he would comfortably become New Zealand’s highest try scorer, but his career hit a rough patch during the 2017 Lions series. Since then, he struggled to work his way back into Steve Hansen’s team, and subsequently made a move to the French club.

However, Toulon are sitting in 11th place in the Top 14 this season, and also endured a disastrous spell in the Champions Cup. It seems unfair that Boudjellal should blame Savea, when almost the entire squad have underperformed this season.

In light of this, former player Drew Mitchell took to Twitter to lambast Boudjellal, shunning his attitude and showing support for Savea:

If Savea does indeed leave Toulon, there will undoubtedly be a fistful of clubs around the world champing at the bit to sign the World Cup winner.

Players continue to flood Savea’s Twitter account with their support:

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The rugby world's unanimous response to Boudjellal's savaging of Savea