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Reports In France Suggest Another Superstar Could Be Added To Toulon's Embarrassment Of Riches

By Conor O'Leary
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It almost seems unfair. The team that are already three-time European Champions packed full of superstars could be about to get even scarier if the latest reports from Midi Olypique are to be believed. You could be forgive for thinking that a recruitment drive that had already signed the likes of Quade Cooper, Ma'a Nonu, Salesi Ma'afu, Charles Ollivon, Samu Manoa, Jonathan Pelissie, and (most probably) Paul O'Connell would represent a satisifying haul - but it seems as though Toulon have their eye on another global superstar.

According to Gavin Mortimer, reports in the Midi Olympique this morning suggest that Toulon are reigniting their interest in trying to lure Israel Folau to the south of France after the World Cup. Folau's contract with the Australian Rugby Union runs out after the World Cup and he is yet to agree a deal - it's thought that the sabatical option clause in a new Australian contract will mean he will be allowed a year overseas before returning to Australia. While this could leave the door open for a Toulon move, Folau has already expressed an interest in representing Australia in the Olympics in Rio when Rugby Sevens makes it's debut.


If Folau were to make the move, it would mean that Toulon have an embarrassment of riches that there would be quality internationals unable to make their 2nd's team

Potential Toulon teams:

1. Xavier Chiocci / Alexandre Menini / Florian Fresia
2. Guilhem Guirado / Jean Charles Orioli
3. Martin Castrogiovanni / Levan Chilachiva / Salesi Ma'afu
4. Samu Manoa / Romain Taofifenua
5. Paul O'Connell* / Konstanin Mikautadze
6. Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe / Mamuka Gorgodze / Virgil Bruni
7. Juan Smith / Gerhard Vosloo
8. Steffon Armitage / Charles Ollivon
9. Sebastien Tillous-Borde / Jonathan Pelissie
10. Quade Cooper / Frederic Michalak
11. Bryan Habana / James O'Connor*
12. Ma'a Nonu / Matt Giteau
13. Mathieu Bastareaud / Maxime Mermoz
14. Drew Mitchell / Josua Tuisova
15. Israel Folau* / Leigh Halfpenny / Delon Armitage

Meanwhile, fresh from signing Saracens winger David Strettle, Clermont look likely to lure All Black winger Hosea Gear back to France after he left Toulouse earlier this year to return to New Zealand. Gear has been frozen out of the Chiefs team after the breakthrough of James Lowe and Bryce Heem while Tim Nanai Williams continues to shine. Clermont are looking for depth at winger after losing Napolioni Nalaga, Zac Guildford and Julien Malzieu at the end of the season.


The rich get richer while Munster and Ireland now have to face the prospect of replacing Paul O'Connell

See Also: 7 Available Second Rows Who Could Replace Paul O'Connell At Munster
See Also: How Can Munster And Ireland Replace Paul O'Connell?
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