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Toulouse target current All Black as replacement for Charlie Faumuina

By Ian Cameron
Toulouse Captain's Run, Twickenham, London, England 21/5/2021.Romain Ntamack and Charlie Faumuina. Credit ©INPHO/James Crombie

Toulouse are said to be on the hunt for a like-for-like replacement for giant former All Blacks prop Charlie Faumuina, who has announced his coming retirement from the sport.

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Faumuina has confirmed that he will call time on his career at Toulouse come the end of the current Top 14 season.

The 6’1, 130kg Faumuina signed for Toulouse back in 2017 and has since enjoyed five fruitful seasons with the club.

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The big tighthead turns 36 next month and is yet to decide whether he will continue on in France in a coaching capacity or if he will return to New Zealand.

Faumuina is one of the heaviest All Blacks of all time, with only the 136kg Neemia Tialata and 135kg Karl Tu’inukuafe tipping the scale at a heavier weight.

According to Midi Olympique, Toulouse are in the market for a replacement of a similar calibre and have their eyes on Nepo Laulala.

Last month Laulala committed to New Zealand Rugby (NZR) and the Blues through to the end of 2023. The 30-year-old prop has played 43 Tests and is one game away from bringing up 100 Super Rugby caps, having played 73 matches for the Crusaders and Chiefs, and 26 for the Blues.

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A trained builder and the younger brother of former All Blacks centre Casey, Laulala was born in Samoa, educated at Auckland’s Wesley College and is one of eight siblings.

A spot at the French giants after the Rugby World Cup is stage in France seems to make a lot of sense for both parties.

Toulouse were crowned Top 14 champions last season and boast a playing roster that includes such talents as Julien Marchand, Antoine Dupont and Romain Ntamack.

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