Rugby: Julian Savea reportedly targeted by South African Southern Kings

Julian Savea in action for Toulon
Julian Savea in action for Toulon. Photo credit: Photosport

Former All Black Julian Savea is reportedly being targeted by the South African Southern Kings in a deal that would see him leave French club Toulon.

The embattled Kings were axed from Super Rugby in 2017, but transferred to the European-based Pro14 competition, where they have won only three games in two seasons.

But Rapport newspaper reports they are extremely interested in obtaining the services of Savea and South African flanker Jacques Potgieter from Toulon, with whom they have a "close working relationship".

Savea has struggled for form at Toulon and has earned the wrath of eccentric owner Mourad Boudjellal, who told him he was free to go, after his performance in a 19-10 loss to Agen in February.

"If I were him, I would apologise and go back to my home country," Boudjellal told French radio RMC afterwards. "I've told he was free to go and wasn't welcome at Toulon anymore."

The Kings' interest would offer a convenient exit option for the big wing, known as 'The Bus', who made 54 appearances for New Zealand and scored 46 tries, including three against France at the 2015 Rugby World Cup.   

Savea and Potgieter would be the first high-profile signings by new Kings high-performance director Robbie Kempson, but the club would have to release at least 20 contracted players to fit them into its budget.


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