One of New Zealand rugby’s rising stars has put pen to paper on a deal to continue his club career with Toulon next season.
All Blacks winger Leicester Fainga’anuku will join the French club later this year, his current side the Crusaders announced on Thursday. The 23-year-old has taken up an 18-month contract to play in the Top 14 .
Fainga’anuku will link up with Toulon after the Rugby World Cup, which kicks off in France in September.
The burly winger made his two Test appearances in last year’s home series defeat to Ireland. He said the move to France “ticked a lot of boxes for me both on and off the field”.
Going to miss our mate! ? Following the 2023 season Leicester will be heading to France ??
— Crusaders (@crusadersrugby) June 7, 2023
Tonga-born Fainga’anuku has chalked up more than 50 Super Rugby appearances since his debut for the Crusaders in 2019.
The Crusaders host the Fijian Drua on Saturday in this season’s quarter-finals as the Christchurch-based outfit bids to win a seventh consecutive Super Rugby title.
Fainga’anuku said he was relishing the move to Toulon, which he described as a chance to “throw myself in the deep end, be vulnerable and be challenged”.
“It’s super exciting for me to face a whole new environment, a new competition and a different style of footy [rugby],” he added.
He is the second Crusaders star to announce they are heading to France following the World Cup after All Blacks lock Sam Whitelock revealed last week he will join Pau.
© Agence France-Presse
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