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Monday, June 18, 2018

Julian Savea confirms that he is heading to France next season

Hurricanes and All Blacks star Julian Savea has confirmed that he will be leaving New Zealand at the end of the Super Rugby season to join French Top 14 club Toulon. His contributions to rugby in New Zealand have been praised by administrators.

Having played 54 Tests for the All Blacks, Savea scored 46 tries, second only to the great Doug Howlett (49) on the all-time try-scoring records for New Zealand.

He is in fact tied with Joe Rokocoko in tenth place overall in Test rugby.

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.

"It’s been an absolute pleasure New Zealand. Thank you to everyone who’s supported me over the past decade of my career especially my family," Savea said on social media. 

"I’d also like to thank @hurricanesrugby, @wgtn_rugby and the @allblacks for giving me the opportunity to represent my country and province and play with some of rugby’s greatest men and be coached by the best too.

"Also a massive thank you to my wife @_timasavea for being my backbone and supporting me through the ups and downs of rugby, couldn’t have made it without you.

"A bittersweet moment and a very hard decision for myself and my family, but I’m excited for this next adventure and I look forward to being part of @rctofficiel in a few months."

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."

Still just 27-years-old, Savea 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 into the All Blacks the following year.

Mouseover/swipe below to browse some pics of him in action over the years

It’s been an absolute pleasure New Zealand ???????? thank you to everyone who’s supported me over the past decade of my career especially my family. I’d also like to thank @hurricanesrugby, @wgtn_rugby and the @allblacks for giving me the opportunity to represent my country and province and play with some of rugby’s greatest men and be coached by the best too. Also a massive thank you to my wife @_timasavea for being my backbone and supporting me through the ups and downs of rugby, couldn’t have made it without you. A bittersweet moment and a very hard decision for myself and my family, but I’m excited for this next adventure and I look forward to being part of @rctofficiel in a few months #ToulonBound #AuRevoir ????????

A post shared by Julian Savea (@juliansavea7) on Jun 18, 2018 at 12:51am PDT

Hurricanes head coach Chris Boyd said Savea and his family would leave the club with its 100 per cent blessing now they had decided it was the right time to go.

"For me, Julian has been one of those guys who has been a one club, one province man who has always given everything he has for Ories, Wellington, the Hurricanes and New Zealand rugby.

"He has always put his heart and soul into it and we respect that greatly."

WATCH: A classic Savea clip, of him bumping Israel Dagg, Robbie Fruean, and a few others

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