Leicester Tigers back Matt Toomua could be on the verge of leaving the club – according to reports emanating from Australia.
The Sydney Morning Herald are reporting that the sought after Wallaby is set to sign for the Australian Super Rugby franchise – the Melbourne Rebels.
The news that he will leave the Tigers and to return to a Super Rugby franchise that is not the Brumbies has raised eyebrows, especially since the versatile back has suggested he was staying put at the Premiership side.
Currently the Australian is contracted to the Tigers to 2020, but if the reports are true, he would return to his homeland in time for the 2019 Rugby World Cup.
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Georgina Robinson of the Sydney Moring Herald says he is in ‘advanced negotiations’ with the Melbourne Rebels.
While Toomua had struggled with injury during his time in England, when he was on the pitch he put in impressive performances from number 10, with many suggesting the Midlands side looked more effective with Toomua at 10 as compared to when helmed by England flyhalf George Ford.
In November of 2017 Toomua stated: “I’m very excited about committing to the club for a few more years,” and in an interview with the Telegraph he said he had resigned himself to the idea of never playing in the Green and Gold again.
With just 31 Tests to his name, he is not eligible to play for the Wallabies whilst he is overseas under the ‘Matt Giteau’ 60-cap rule.
The 6ft, 91kg Toomua will have to exit his Tigers contract, or possibly be bought out of it by the ARU and/or the Rebels.
Originally scheduled for Saturday 22 September at 3pm, the game at Welford Road will now take place the following day with the same kick-off time.
The move has been made for policing and traffic reasons in and around the area as Leicester City FC are scheduled to play at home on the Saturday 22 September at the same time as Tigers.