New Zealand back row star Jerry Collins has become the latest big name player to join newly promoted French outfit Toulon.
The Pro D2 club might have lost the services of Springbok World Cup winner Victor Matfield, who has returned to South Africa to concentrate on playing against the 2009 British & Irish Lions, Toulon president, Mourad Boudjellal has added another jewel to his crown.
Collins was released from the final year of his New Zealand Rugby Union contract last month and will join fellow All Blacks Tana Umaga, Nathan Mauger, Andrew Mehrtens, Anton Oliver and Saimone Taumoepeau at the French club.
Waikato prop Ben Castle will also be joining him in the French Top 14 and European Challenge Cup next season, but the big debate is whether or not Dan Carter will join them.
Boudjellal is allegedly poised to offer the All Blacks outside half up to £500,000 for six months work when he takes his much heralded ‘sabbatical’ at the start of 2009.
Toulon benefitted from the silky skills of Australian World Cup winning scrum half George Gregan in their push for promotion last season, but the 100+ times capped Wallaby is set to return home this summer.