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Toulon line up All Black


Toulon line up All Black as Chris Ashton speculation ramps up - reports

Toulon are on the verge of signing All Blacks winger Julian Savea according to reports in France.

The 27-year-old has dropped down the pecking order with Steve Hansen’s side despite his remarkable strike record with New Zealand, having notched up 46 tries in just 54 Tests since his debut in 2012.

Last October Savea was linked to a short-term move to Harlequins, something which was robustly denied by his wife at the time.

Savea has not played for the All Blacks since July 2017, but Steve Hansen has previously stated that the Hurricanes winger is still under consideration.

“Julian’s been a very, very good All Black for us and done some great things – I feel for him a wee bit at this stage,” Hansen said.

“He’s disappointed and so he should be. He’s done a lot in the jersey, he’s enhanced it when he’s worn it and his time’s not over.”

But if this move to Europe is confirmed the 1.92m 108kg winger could be in line to replace Chris Ashton.

The England winger has reportedly told the French Top 14 club that he wants to leave, just a year into his three-year contract.

RugbyPass understands that Sale are leading the chase to sign Ashton.

Speaking before he played for the Barbarians Ashton told RugbyPass that he was “out of the loop completely” when it came to any consideration for a next England cap under Eddie Jones.

Video: Chris Ashton speaks to RugbyPass

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Ashton said, “I was always battling to try and get back in while I was here, that’s why I took the decision to go [to France] but I’d like to think the door’s never shut and if I wanted to come back to England, I’d be able to have a shot at it. I like to think it’s not over, I’ve only just turned 31 so there’s time left yet.”

Ashton last played for England in June 2014 against New Zealand in Hamilton but certainly caught the eye in a three-try performance at Twickenham last month when the Baabaas beat England 63-45.

The former Northampton and Saracens winger also dazzled in the Top 14, breaking the try scoring record, crossing the whitewash 24 times. But being based in France rules him out of international contention and it appears that 31-year-old Ashton wants to attempt a late dash to make England’s World Cup squad.

It will also put a host of Premiership clubs on high alert to have such a potent winger available to sign.

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Toulon line up All Black as Chris Ashton speculation ramps up - reports
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