European rugby writer lays boot into Julian Savea as Toulon slump worsens

Former All Blacks wing Julian Savea's form slump has followed him to France, finding himself on the bench for new club Toulon as they struggle in the Top 14.

Savea, 28, left New Zealand for the cash rich French giants at the end of this year's Super Rugby competition, however he has struggled since becoming the latest addition to the star-studded Toulon backline, failing to cross over for a single try so far this season.

His on-field woes have been compounded, with Savea finding himself on the bench for Toulon's 29-17 defeat to Montpellier last weekend, their fifth loss in their past seven games, currently sitting 12th in the Top 14 standings.

Writing for the Times, European rugby correspondent Owen Slot singled out Savea, also hitting out at the social media antics of wife, Fatima.

"His short term of duty has become best known for the Twitter account of his wife, who has watched her husband's new team and offered such observations as: 'I swear this team doesn't know how to pass' and 'rugby on this side of the world is very behind. I feel Julian's pain out there on the field'," Slot says.

"Players such as Savea and (Malakai) Fekitoa do not just lose the competitive hunger.

"That is why, in the post-Jonny Wilkinson years, there have still been special days when Toulon have risen up and they will continue to do so, almost as a reminder of their individual class. These are still great players who love playing together."

The behaviour of Savea's wife also drew comment - or lack thereof - from Toulon owner Mourad Boudjellal, saying: ""I'm not saying anything bad about Madame Savea, because you've seen how her husband is built."

Toulon currently find themselves 16 points behind Top 14 leaders Clermont.

Savea was quick to shut down suggestions he could've rekindled his All Blacks career elsewhere from the Hurricanes.
Julian Savea Source: Photosport

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