Mourad Boudjellal doesn’t appear to be wasting any time rebuilding his squad.
After missing out on Sonny Bill Williams last summer, Mourad Boudjellal and Toulon have set their sights on Malakai Fekitoa ahead of next season.
The 23 times capped All Black centre has become hot property since establishing himself in a New Zealand backline that didn’t seem to miss Conrad Smith, Ma’a Nonu and Sonny Bill Williams last season.
Although the Highlanders player suffered some erratic form during the Rugby Championship and was lucky not to be sent off for a dangerous tackle against Ireland in November, Fekitoa remained one of Steve Hansen’s go to men in midfield.
His power alone gave New Zealand a focal point, particularly after he was partnered alongside Anton Lienert-Brown.
However, as is the case with almost every All Black coming to the end of his contract, Fekitoa has had his head turned by wealthy European clubs.
The Tongan-born player has already confirmed as much, telling the New Zealand Herald; “I don’t know what’s going to pop up after this. I would love to stay or maybe look at elsewhere. I just have to see what’s best for me and my career, and also my family”.
Although Fekitoa didn’t specifically make reference to any particular club, L’Equipe have subsequently claimed that Toulon are positioning themselves to move for the centre.
After the three-time European Champions confirmed the departures of both Matt Giteau and Maxime Mermoz, such a move would make a great deal of sense for Toulon.
Indeed, should Fekitoa move to the Stade Mayol, he could feature in a back line that also includes Chris Ashton, Hugo Bonneval, Semi Radradra, François Trinh-Duc and Ma’a Nonu next season.
Alan Drumm, Pundit Arena
On this week’s Oval Office Podcast, Rob Henderson tells us about Ireland’s 12 potential Lions, Paddy Butler identifies weaknesses in the French game plan, Mako Vunipola discusses the challenge of facing Tadhg Furlong and historian David Toms relives Ireland’s 2007 clash with England in Croke Park.