Toulon confirm POC, Vermeulen deals

Date published: June 16 2015

Toulon president Mourad Boudjellal has reportedly confirmed that Ireland lock Paul O'Connell, Springbok back-row Duane Vermeulen and former England tighthead prop Matt Stevens have all signed deals to join his club.

O'Connell has signed a one-year deal with the option of extending it for one more year. He joins the European Champions Cup holders after a 15-year spell at Irish province Munster.

According to Var-Matin newspaper, Boudjellal revealed that O'Connell "really wanted to finish his career the way Jonny Wilkinson did", referring to the former England fly-half's Toulon swansong that ended with a Top 14 and Champions Cup double in 2014.

O'Connell, who has represented Ireland in 101 Tests, will join Toulon after the World Cup in September and October.

29-Test Springbok Vermeulen joins from Stormers on a three-year contract, Var-Matin said.

He is the Boks' first-choice number eight and was one of the players nominated for the World Player of the Year award in 2014.

Stevens joins from the Sharks on a two-year deal. He has 46 England caps and was part of British and Irish Lions tours in 2005 and 2013.