Wallabies star Israel Folau has been linked with a move to French club Toulon.
The New South Wales Waratahs fullback, who is signed to Australian rugby until the end of 2015, has reportedly started negotiations with the Top 14 and Heineken Cup champions to join them after the 2015 Rugby World Cup.
French rugby newspaper Midi Olimpique has published a report that Folau had opened talks with Toulon. Folau’s manager Isaac Moses could not be reached for comment. As reported in the Daily Telegraph on Monday, Folau was interviewed by French reporters just last week on the prospect of playing in the Top 14 and expressed interest.
“I love this opportunity to travel through rugby and play places I would never go if I played league or Australian Rules,” Folau said. “I think this is one of the best things in rugby: for example you the opportunity to play in France or Japan. I think at one time or another in my career I will go one way or another. I cannot wait to see the different doors that could be opened for me in the future. But for now, I feel very well and I really Waratahs a good place in the Wallabies.”
Former Wallabies and Queensland Reds scrum-half Will Genia is reportedly also in the sights of a French club, with Lyon said to be interested in his services.
Cashed-up Toulon has managed to lure some of the world’s best players, including Sonny Bill Williams, Jonny Wilkinson, George Gregan, Tana Umaga, George Smith, Victor Matfield, Matt Giteau, and more recently James O’Connor, Drew Mitchell and Leigh Halfpenny. And owner Mourad Boujellal revealed a bold plan in May to sign who he described as the “fantastic four” of world rugby.
“In a year, I will try to do the biggest thing I’ve ever done [in the transfer market],” Boujellal told Eurosport. “I have an idea in my head, a crazy idea; I will try to make it happen. There are ‘quatre fantastiques’ in the rugby