18 Feb 2019

Julian Savea 'free' to go, says furious Toulon boss

7:33 am on 18 February 2019

Former All Blacks winger Julian Savea is free to go and not welcome at Toulon anymore after his performance in a 19-10 defeat by Agen, the Top 14 club president said.

Former All Black winder Julian Savea playing for Toulon

Former All Black winder Julian Savea playing for Toulon Photo: Photosport

Savea still has a year remaining on his contract, but Toulon boss Mourad Boudjellal says the former Hurricanes star has "been released and is "free to what he wants".

"I'm going to ask for a DNA test. They must have swapped him on the plane [when he joined from Hurricanes]. If I were him I would apologise and go back to my home country," Mourad Boudjellal told French radio RMC.

"I've told him that he was free to go and wasn't welcome at Toulon anymore."

I told him he was released and he was no longer welcome at Toulon. He has got a year left on his contract. He can do what he wants.

"A year can be long for the club but especially for the player ... for me he is released.

"His identical twin brother looks very similar to him ... we will have at least learnt that certain physical similarities are very striking.

"Sometimes, some players come for the wrong reasons," Boudjellal said.

The 28-year-old is in his first Top 14 season, shifting to Toulon after the Hurricanes' 2018 Super Rugby campaign. He has largely been a flop since landing in France, and has played much of his rugby out of position at 12.

Savea's mid-season leave to attend his brother's wedding in December caused backlash from Toulon fans, to which his wife responded.

"Let me set the record straight," Fatima Savea - Julian's wife - tweeted.

"Before Julian signed his contract he asked for time off in December to attend his ONLY brother's wedding. So this was agreed upon by both the club and Julian or else Julian would not have come to Toulon in September and instead in January."

Toulon have been struggling this season as they lie 11th in the standings.

- Reuters

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