Julian Savea leaves Toulon, keen on New Zealand return

Date published: May 14 2020

All Blacks wing Julian Savea is hoping to further his career in New Zealand after confirming he has parted ways with Top 14 club Toulon.

Speaking to brother Ardie in an Instagram interview, the 29-year-old revealed his time with Toulon was over after the Top 14 season was cancelled early.

He posted the interview on his Instagram account as well, alongside a confirmation about the end of his stint in France.

Savea said he had been considering his future with his Toulon deal ending after this season and his call had been made more straightforward with the onset of the Covid-19 crisis.

The 29-year-old said he was keen to return to New Zealand and look for opportunities to continue his career.

“It’s been a bit tough,” he said.

“The (French) season is done and I’m coming home soon, hopefully, once everything dies down.

“And I guess trying to get back into New Zealand rugby or find another contract but that’s a five-month, six-month timeline in terms of what could happen because the Covid-19 is still ongoing.

“We’re waiting for everything to calm down and when teams and organisations are ready to sign again.

“Until that time comes, first and foremost I just want to get home and see the family.”

Savea said the Hurricanes would be his number one target but also hinted at an interest in an NRL switch or Japan move.

“Ideally I would like to be back with the Canes brothers… if that doesn’t happen then I’ll see my other options. It could be another franchise, it could be Japan, it could be even maybe the Warriors. I don’t know. We’ll see.”

Savea’s potential return to the field would not be likely to happen until 2021 with Super Rugby club signings suspended for the time being.

Clubs are still allowed to talk with potential additions, though, and Hurricanes CEO Avan Lee certainly didn’t rule out their interest on New Zealand Radio on Thursday morning.

“We are aware Julian Savea is making a return to New Zealand,” said Lee.

“Hurricanes management will keep an open mind about future possibilities.”

Savea has been with Toulon for two seasons and it has been a turbulent ride for the rugby star.

When he arrived, outspoken Toulon owner Mourad Boudjellal asked for a “DNA test” on the wing.

“I’m going to ask for a DNA test. They must have swapped him on the plane. If I were him I would apologise and go back to my home country,” he said at the time.