All Black Julian Savea has confirmed that he will be leaving New Zealand at the end of the 2018 Investec Super Rugby season to join French Top 14 club Toulon.
Savea played 54 tests for the All Blacks, scoring 46 tries, second only to Doug Howlett on the all-time try-scoring records for New Zealand.
New Zealand Rugby Chief Executive Steve Tew said Savea had won fans all over the world with his speed and size making him a powerful attacking weapon for any side he represented.
“Julian goes with our blessing and 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 “Jules can be incredibly proud of everything he has achieved in the black jersey. He is a devastating ball runner who inspired others with his physicality and try-scoring prowess. 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.
The 27-year-old championship winning Hurricanes wing, has played more than 120 matches for the Hurricanes since making his debut for the Super Rugby Club in 2011, a year after he made his first start for Wellington. His performance saw him selected for the All Blacks the following year.
Savea has the distinction of being the first All Black to score three tries against Ireland in a test match and just the fourth to score three tries on his All Black test debut
Savea, of Samoan descent, was named in the 31-man All Black squad for the 2015 Rugby World Cup where he scored 8 tries across the tournament. His 8 tries saw him equal the record for most tries in a single tournament, previously achieved by the late former All Black Jonah Lomu and South Africa’s Bryan Habana.