Brumbies and Wallabies fly-half Noah Lolesio is the latest Australian player to join French outfit Toulon on a short-term ‘joker’ contract during the upcoming Rugby World Cup.
The deal will see Lolesio moving to the Top 14 club during the World Cup window as an international replacement for Welsh playmaker Dan Biggar before returning to the Brumbies after the global showpiece in France.
Breakout season in 2020
Lolesio had a breakout season with the Brumbies in 2020 and also made his debut for the Wallabies in a Bledisloe Cup Test later that year.
The 23-year-old made 12 Test appearances since then, under former Australia head coach Dave Rennie, but was not picked by new Wallabies boss Eddie Jones for the Rugby Championship.
“Noah Lolesio will make up for the absence of Dan Biggar during the World Cup,” Toulon’s director of rugby Pierre Mignoni told the club’s official website.
“He is a complete player who has good gestural qualities and good footwork. It is also versatile and can slide in the centre if necessary.
“Noah will arrive with Jake Gordon whom he knows well having played several international matches alongside him. This should also facilitate their integration.”
Lolesio is set to form a Wallaby half-back partnership with Waratahs captain and scrum-half Gordon, who also agreed to join Toulon on a short-term basis – as a replacement for France’s Baptiste Serin – last week.
“Jake is an experienced international scrum-half,” said Mignoni.
“He will bring his leadership, his vision and his physical qualities.”
Several Australians set to be in France
Lolesio and Gordon are amongst several Australians who will be in France for the World Cup which gets underway in September.
There will be a Barbarians tour running concurrently with the global showpiece, with up to 15 players set to be selected from Australia by head coach Jason Gilmore.