PARIS – Toulon president Mourad Boudjellal singled out ex-All Black Julian Savea following the club’s latest defeat, saying he “was no longer welcome”.
“I’m going to ask for a DNA test, this isn’t the Savea that we signed. They must have changed him on the plane,” Boudjellal fumed on Sunday, the day after a 19-10 defeat to Agen.
The 2015 World Cup winner joined Toulon amid much fanfare last summer, but the 28-year-old has failed to replicate the form that saw him score 46 tries in 54 caps for New Zealand.
With only two tries since signing for the Top 14 side, Savea was no match for the speed of Fijian wing Benito Masilevu in Agen’s second try.
Boudjellal, speaking to RMC Sport, said: “I told him (Savea) he was free and no longer welcome at Toulon.
“He has one year left on his contract. He can do what he wants. It’s going to be a long year for the club but especially for the player.”
Toulon are having a woeful season, the side that lifted the European Cup three times in a row between 2013 and 2015 are languishing in 11th place in France.
And after failing to make the Top 14 play-offs for the first time since 2012, Savea was by no means the only target for Boudjellal’s frustration.
Referring to fly-half Anthony Belleau he said: “I can see why he isn’t starting for France given his current level.
“Some players are average because they want to leave and others because they won't be as well paid anywhere else. A lot will be let go.”AFP