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The Superstar XV Leaving Toulon This Summer

Backed by the financial firepower of Mourad Boudjellal, Toulon are one of rugby’s few super clubs. As a result, some of the game’s biggest names have been drawn to the Stade Mayol.

However the huge influx of players means that each season, a large number leave the club. While some players like Steffon Armitage leave Toulon after enjoying a trophy laden spell, others such as Quade Cooper struggle for form before being shown the exit door.

Indeed, numerous players with international experience are often discarded at the end of each campaign, after failing to make an impact at the Stade Mayol,



[tie_slide]1. Alexandre Menini

France v Australia - International Match
(Photo by Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images)

Before joining Toulon, Alexandre Menini played at a number of Top 14 clubs. However after joining Mourad Boudjellal’s team, the loosehead played the best rugby of his career, and subsequently won 6 internationals caps with France.

However this summer Menini was seen as surplus to requirements, and opted to join newly promoted Lyon.


[tie_slide]2. Mohamed Boughanmi

Mohamed Boughanmi

127 Kg Mohamed Boughanmi is one of those who failed to make an impact at Toulon, and will join La Rochelle this summer, despite having only enjoyed one season at the Stade Mayol.


[tie_slide] 3. Manasa Saulo

Wales v Fiji - Group A: Rugby World Cup 2015

Last October it was announced that 27 times capped Fijian international Manasa Saulo would join Toulouse this summer from Romanian side, Timisoara Saracens.

However after Toulon sacked Salesi Ma’afu in January, Saulo agreed to join the three time European Champions on a short term contract.


[tie_slide]4. Konstantin Mikautadze

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 25: Konstantin Mikautadze of the Barbarians poses for a portrait during the Barbarians squad photocall at Grosvenor House on May 25, 2015 in London, England. (Photo by Steve Bardens/Getty Images for Barbarians)
(Photo by Steve Bardens/Getty Images for Barbarians)

Another in the long line of tough Georgian forwards, Konstantin Mikautadze agreed to join Montpellier after spending six years with Toulon.

Given his size and power, Toulon tried to keep hold of Mikautadze, but to no avail.


[tie_slide]5. Paul O’Connell

DUBLIN, IRELAND - MARCH 08: Paul O'Connell of Ireland in action during the RBS Six Nations match between Ireland and Italy at Aviva Stadium on March 8, 2014 in Dublin, Ireland.  (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
(Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Paul O’Connell was supposed to join Toulon after the World Cup, but injury denied the legendary Irish lock the opportunity of finishing his career in the south of France.

Given that O’Connell was signed on a two year deal, Boudjellal immediately attempted to sign a replacement, but will have to wait until the arrival of Juandré Kruger from Racing 92.


[tie_slide]6. Thibault Lassalle

Thibault Lassalle

28 year old Thibault Lassalle joined Toulon in the summer of 2015, but will leave for Castres after failing to make an impact.


[tie_slide]7. Steffon Armitage

LEICESTER, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 07:  Steffon Armitage of Toulon breaks with the ball during the European Rugby Champions Cup group 3 match between Leicester Tigers and RC Toulon at Welford Road on December 7, 2014 in Leicester, England.  (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)
(Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Mourad Boudjellal surprised the rugby world when he announced Steffon Armitage had asked to leave Toulon.

Wasps fans immediately got excited at the prospect of former European player of the year returning to the Premiership, but he ultimately decided to join Pau.


[tie_slide]8. Virgile Bruni

Toulon v Saracens - Heineken Cup Final
(Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

After spending four seasons at Toulon, Virgile Bruni declared his intention to join newly promoted Lyon in March.


[tie_slide] 9. Frédéric Michalak

RC Toulon v Wasps - European Rugby Champions Cup Quarter Final

For some reason Boudjellal appeared to have a soft spot for Frédéric Michalak, but that was not enough to encourage the 77 times capped French international from turning down Lyon.


[tie_slide]10. Quade Cooper

COVENTRY, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 22: Quade Cooper of Toulon catches the ball during the European Rugby Champions Cup match between Wasps and Toulon at the Ricoh Arena on November 22, 2015 in Coventry, England. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)
(Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Despite chasing Quade Cooper for what seemed like months, Toulon will part company with mercurial fly half after only one season.


[tie_slide]11. Lachlan Turner

Super Rugby Rd 14 - Reds v Rebels
(Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

15 times capped Australian utility back, Lachlan Turner, joined Toulon at the beginning of the season, as cover during the Rugby World Cup.

After scoring four tries for the French giants, he subsequently decided to join the Exeter Chiefs.


[tie_slide]12. Tom Taylor

New Zealand All Blacks Training Session
(Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)

Tom Taylor was highly regarded in New Zealand when he took the decision to leave for the Top 14. However, although he impressed at times, Toulon made little effort to turn down the advances of Pau.


[tie_slide]13. Maxime Mermoz

Toulon v Saracens - Heineken Cup Final
(Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

The arrival of Ma’a Nonu last summer mad it very difficult for Maxime Mermoz to retain his place in Toulon’s starting XV.

Indeed, after Nonu appeared to struggle, Mermoz had to make do with a place on the bench. As a result, it now looks as if the 35 times capped French international will leave, with both Bath and Bordeaux Begles reportedly interested.


[tie_slide]14. Delon Armitage

TOULON, FRANCE - APRIL 05:  Delon Armitage of Toulon runs with the ball during the European Rugby Champions Cup quarter final match between RC Toulon and Wasps at the Felix Mayol Stadium on April 5, 2015 in Toulon, France.  (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)
(Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

After an incredibly successful stint at Toulon, Delon Armitage’s time at the Stade Mayol will finally come to an end when he joins Lyon this summer.


[tie_slide]15. UJ Seuteni

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 25:  UJ Seuteni poses during the official 2013 Reds Headshots session at Ballymore Stadium on January 25, 2013 in Brisbane, Australia.  (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)
(Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

Given that Toulon only generally sign established stars, it came as a surprise when Toulon announced the capture UJ Seuteni from the Queensland Reds. However the Australian youngster struggled to overcome the enormous amount of competition ahead of him and will join Oyonnax.



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Author: The PA Team

This article was written by a member of The PA Team.