The former All Blacks winger Julian Savea is making no bones about it…the lure of the French franc is behind his decision to leave New Zealand rugby.
Savea has is joining joining French club Toulon on a two year deal and will leave at the end of the Super Rugby competition.
The 27-year-old has played 54 tests for the All Blacks, scoring 46 tries, putting second on New Zealand’s all-time try-scoring list behind only Doug Howlett.
Nick named the Bus Julian Savea made his debut for the All Blacks in 2012 against Ireland but struggled for form and fitness at times with his last test against the British and Irish Lions last year.
He’s played 87 games for the Hurricanes and says heading overseas was his only option as he couldn’t see himself playing for another super rugby side.
“No disrespect to all the other teams but hell no! I love this team and it was always a dream of mine to be here in this yellow jersey and it honestly means a lot to me and its probably the one jersey I am going to miss the most,” said Savea.
Refreshingly Savea is making no secret of the fact that it’s the money that’s luring him off shore.
While he’s not revealing the amount his contract is worth, it’s clear his current contract pales in comparison.
“It’s probably about 80 percent of why I am going over (to France).”
Savea also sought advice from former Hurricanes teamate Ma’a Nonu, who payed at Toulon, before deciding to join the club.
The lure of playing at 2019 World Cup in Japan was also something he had to contemplate.
“Most definitely it came into the picture and thinking as to whether I might or might not make it…..but it was just too much of a risk for me and the opportunity (to play at Toulon) most probably wouldn’t have been there.”
Savea’s also not ruling out a possible return to the Hurricanes.
“I’m still 27 and signing for two years – who knows I could be back.”