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Champions Cup

Savea “not welcome” at Toulon Anymore

Some of these quotes are astonishing.

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Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images

Following Toulon’s 19-10 loss to Agen yesterday their club president Mourad Boudjellal has struck out at his players especially Julian Savea.

Boudjellal has been unimpressed by his sides performances this season as they currently sit 11th in the Top 14 table with only six wins from 16 games and he did not hold back his anger when speaking about Savea in particular.

“I’m going to ask for a DNA test. It is not Savea that we recruited but ‘Savéapas’,”

he said to French publication RMC Sport.

“I am going to ask for a DNA test,” “Saveaapas not recruited but Savéapas, who had to change him on the plane. I would apologize and I would go home and when you get to that level of play, you have to apologize and leave, maybe it’s just a matter of self-esteem. Is it me who feeds my family or is it the club? “

Savea who left the Hurracaines in native New Zealand for the French giants last year has struggled to live up to his expectations following an international career in which he scored 46 tries in only 54 matches.

Even though he has played out of position in the centre rather than on the wing Boudjellal has banished him from the club from what has been gathered.

“I told him he was released, and he was no longer welcome at Toulon! He has got a year left on his contract. He can do what he wants. A year can be long for the club but especially for the player… for me he is released,” he continued.

The remarkable attack on one of the greatest wingers the world has ever seen wasn’t the end of his comments either.

“This Toulon team has done a lot of bad to the club. And if the players put in as much effort on the pitch as they do in negotiating their contracts, we would be champions of Europe!” he added when speaking of the team as a whole.

Boudjellal also lashed out at young fly-half Anthony Belleau.

“He caught the virus of the French team. They do not know how to play anymore, and I understand why he is not a member of the French team given his current level …” he also stated.

The president also warned the remainder of the team that unless they perform, they will face a similar fate to that of Savea.

“Some players are average because they want to leave and others because they have a cheque to take, and they cannot find a better cheque elsewhere. Many will be released,” he said.

In the final words of his incredible attack at the team was that he told them that he is likely not to go to their games until the end of the season as he has other preferences.

“We are not sure to see me at the stadium by the end of the season, I prefer to go to the Cirque Pinder!” he said.

With regards to Savea it appears as though he will be replaced by fellow All Black Nehe Milner-Skudder, who agreed a three-year contract with Toulon in December. He will join up with the team in June, but where Savea will go remains to be seen.

He may return to New Zealand, much like Ma’a Nonu if possible, to try and recreate the form that saw him reach such amazing heights before his move abroad.

However, it was reported that Toulon were looking at the possibility of gaining Dan Carter’s services until the end of the season, but it was confirmed today that he will return to former club Racing 92.

https://twitter.com/racing92/status/1097160738295242753

The club are in a situation now where they face the possibility of not only having a bad season but poor ones to follow as most player’s will be put off signing for them after seeing the treatment Boudjellal has shown his current crop of stars.


Champions Cup

New Signing & Contract News

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Munster Rugby are pleased to confirm the signing of 23-year-old winger Diarmuid Kilgallen on a two-year deal ahead of the 2024/25 season.

In further contract news, hooker Eoghan Clarke has signed a one-year deal for next season after rejoining Munster in November.

Prop Keynan Knox has completed his time at the province after scoring three tries in 33 appearances and we wish him all the best for the future.

Diarmuid Kilgallen in action against Ulster in November.

Kilgallen hails from Eadestown in Kildare and has scored 12 tries in 22 appearances for Connacht to date.

He started out at Naas RFC before playing schools rugby for Cistercian College Roscrea on the Tipperary-Offaly border.

He joined the Connacht Academy in 2019 and made his debut against Munster in 2020.

A tall, athletic winger, he scored five tries in eight appearances last season and has five tries in six appearances so far this year.

Eoghan Clarke made his first start for Munster against Crusaders earlier this month.

25-year-old hooker Clarke has signed on for next year after impressing since returning to the province in November.

Clarke spent three years in the Munster Academy before departing for Jersey Reds in 2021. He won the English Championship with Jersey last season but the club went into liquidation in October.

He has made five appearances for Munster since returning, including a debut against Bayonne in December and a first start against Crusaders at Páirc Uí Chaoimh earlier this month.

24-year-old tighthead prop Knox departs after over seven years at Munster Rugby.

He joined the Academy midway through the 2017/18 season after completing his second level education with Michaelhouse in South Africa.

The Young Munster clubman made his senior debut against Dragons in September 2019 and moved up to the senior squad in 2020.

Knox featured in eight games last season as Munster clinched the URC title. In total, he scored three tries in 33 Munster appearances.

We wish Keynan all the best with his next move.

Keynan Knox at training last month.

Images & Content from Munster Rugby


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Champions Cup

Squad Update | Munster Prepare For Northampton

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The Munster squad started preparations on Monday ahead of Saturday’s vital Investec Champions Cup clash against Northampton at Thomond Park (5.30pm).

There are a limited number of tickets remaining here.

Find out all you need to know ahead of the match here.

There were no new injuries to report after the win over Toulon on Saturday.

Following a consultation last week, Jack O’Donoghue will not require surgery on his knee injury and will be managed conservatively by the medical department. He is unavailable for three to four months.

Oli Jager is continuing to follow the return to play protocols and his availability for the Northampton game will be determined later this week.

There is good news for Jack Daly (ankle) as he returns to training this week.

Cian Hurley (ankle/achilles) and Mike Haley (hip) are increasing their training demands and will target a return to play in the coming weeks.

Continuing to rehab: Jack O’Donoghue (knee), Dave Kilcoyne (shoulder), Diarmuid Barron (foot), Jean Kleyn (eye/knee), Liam Coombes (shoulder), RG Snyman (chest/shoulder), Roman Salanoa (knee), Mike Haley (hip), Cian Hurley (ankle/achilles).

There were eight Munster players in AIL action at the weekend.

Academy out-half Tony Butler kicked two penalties and a conversion for Young Munster as they were beaten 23-13 by Cork Constitution at Temple Hill. Chris Moore started at hooker for the Cookies.

Academy scrum-half Jack Oliver kicked two penalties and a conversion for Garryowen in their 23-10 win over UCC at the Mardyke. Colm Hogan scored a try for Garryowen with Academy prop George Hadden also featuring.

Jack O’Sullivan started at no.8 for College.

Evan O’Connell was in action for UL Bohs as they were beaten 34-7 by Old Crescent.

Video | Graham Rowntree Interview

Tickets

Champions Cup Round 4: Saturday, January 20

Munster Rugby v Northampton Saints, Thomond Park, 5.30pm; Buy tickets here

Saturday, February 3

Munster Rugby v Crusaders, Páirc Uí Chaoimh, 5pm; SOLD OUT

URC Round 11: Friday, March 1

Munster v Zebre Parma, Musgrave Park, 7.35pm; Buy tickets here

URC Round 13: Saturday, March 30

Munster v Cardiff Rugby, Thomond Park, 7.35pm; Buy tickets here

URC Round 16: Saturday, May 11

Munster v Connacht, Thomond Park, 5.15pm; Buy tickets here

URC Round 18: Saturday, June 1

Munster v Ulster, Thomond Park, 5.15pm; Buy tickets here

Images & Content from Munster Rugby


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Champions Cup

All You Need To Know | RC Toulon v Munster

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Munster are away to RC Toulon this weekend in a huge Investec Champions Cup clash.

Find out all you need to know about the game below.

Our final Pool game is against the Northampton Saints at Thomond Park on Saturday, January 20, with tickets available here.

Where?

Stade Felix Mayol, Toulon

When?

3.15pm Irish time, Saturday, January 13

Munster News

Squad Update 

Gallery | This Week’s Best Training Pics

Did You Know?

This will be the first meeting of Munster and Toulon since the 2018 Champions Cup quarter-final at Thomond Park.

Munster’s last visit to Stade Felix Mayol was back in January 2011 with the French side securing a 32-16 victory to end Munster’s hopes of qualifying for the knock-out stages.

A draw at home to Bayonne and a defeat in Exeter leaves Munster fifth in Pool 3 with Toulon sixth after a home loss to Exeter and away defeat to Northampton.

The top four qualify for the next round and there are two rounds of games still to play.

Remaining Pool 3 Fixtures

Kick-offs in Irish time

Round 3

Friday, Jan 12: Northampton v Bayonne, Franklin’s Gardens, 8pm;

Saturday, Jan 13: Exeter Chiefs v Glasgow Warriors, Sandy Park, 1pm;

Toulon v Munster, Stade Felix Mayol, 3.15pm;

Round 4

Friday, Jan 19: Glasgow v Toulon, Scotstoun, 8pm;

Saturday, Jan 20: Munster v Northampton, Thomond Park, 5.30pm; Buy tickets here

Sunday, Jan 21: Bayonne v Exeter Chiefs, Stade Jean Dauger, 5.30pm;

Teams

Both sides will be named at 12pm on Friday.

Match Officials

Referee: Nika Amashukeli

AR1: Saba Abulashvili

AR2: Shota Tevzadze

TMO: Ben Whitehouse

Broadcast

Live on TNT Sports, beIN Sports, France TV, FloRugby & SuperSport.

Tickets

Champions Cup Round 4: Saturday, January 20

Munster Rugby v Northampton Saints, Thomond Park, 5.30pm; Buy tickets here

Saturday, February 3

Munster Rugby v Crusaders, Páirc Uí Chaoimh, 5pm; SOLD OUT

URC Round 11: Friday, March 1

Munster v Zebre Parma, Musgrave Park, 7.35pm; Buy tickets here

URC Round 13: Saturday, March 30

Munster v Cardiff Rugby, Thomond Park, 7.35pm; Buy tickets here

URC Round 16: Saturday, May 11

Munster v Connacht, Thomond Park, 5.15pm; Buy tickets here

URC Round 18: Saturday, June 1

Munster v Ulster, Thomond Park, 5.15pm; Buy tickets here

Images & Content from Munster Rugby


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