18 Jun 2018

Rugby: Julian Savea confirms move to French club

8:36 pm on 18 June 2018

Former All Blacks winger Julian Savea has confirmed he will head to France at the end of this year's Super Rugby season to play for Toulon.

All Black Julian Savea fends off David Pocock during the RWC 2015 final.

Julian Savea in the 2015 Rugby World Cup final. Photo: AFP

There had been widespread speculation in recent weeks that he was looking to make the move, with reports he was also being chased by Lyon and Stade Francais.

The 27-year-old has played 54 tests and scored 46 test tries.

He was contracted to New Zealand Rugby through to the end of next year's World Cup in Japan having signed a four year deal in 2015, but played just two tests in 2017, his last being the 15-all draw against the British and Irish Lions in Auckland in July.

New Zealand Rugby chief executive Steve Tew said Savea was leaving the country with NZR's blessing.

"We know that French rugby fans will quickly embrace him as their own. We thank Julian for his contribution to rugby in New Zealand and we wish him and his family well for their move to Toulon."

All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen said Savea was a devastating ball runner who inspired others.

"On behalf of all the All Blacks, we want to wish Julian and his family all the very best and thank him for everything he has done for the All Blacks."

Savea played more than 120 matches for the Hurricanes since making his debut in 2011.