Cape Town - The
Brumbies have confirmed that wing Joe Tomane will depart the club at
the end of the Super Rugby season to take up a contract in France.
Tomane made his Super Rugby debut for the Brumbies in Round 1 of the 2012 season, coming on as a replacement for Robbie Coleman in a narrow 19-17 win over the Western Force at GIO Stadium.
Now in his fifth season with the team, Tomane has crossed for 25 tries from his 68 career matches with the Brumbies.
The 26-year-old has also represented the Wallabies 17 times following his debut against Scotland in Newcastle in 2012.
Brumbies interim CEO, Phil Thomson, said while it is disappointing to be losing a player of Tomane’s quality, the club understands that it was an opportunity for him and his young family that was too good to refuse.
"Joe is a talented player and someone who has made a great contribution to the Brumbies over the past five years," Thomson told the Brumbies website.
"His contributions to this club and the wider-Canberra community have made him one of the most popular players with fans who I’m sure will be sad to see him go.
"He has put his heart and soul into the Brumbies and we are very proud of his achievements. We hope that this won’t be last we see of Joe in Australian Rugby."
Brumbies head coach Stephen Larkham said the club would’ve loved to have held onto Tomane who scored six tries from his opening eight Super Rugby matches in 2016.
"Joe was having a great year before he injured his knee," Larkham said.
"He was definitely in the mix for Wallabies selection for the England series before the injury, which is unfortunate because I know how much it means to him to represent his country.
"Whilst we are disappointed he will be leaving the club, there are limitations to what we are currently able to do if players garner overseas interest. In the end he felt this was his best option regarding his career and his family."
After representing the 2007 Australian Schoolboys side, Tomane represented the Melbourne Storm and Gold Coast Titans in the NRL between 2008 and 2010. He linked with the Brumbies in 2011 before making his debut in 2012.
Tomane is still recovering from a knee injury suffered in the Brumbies Round 9 (April 24) Super Rugby match-up against the Crusaders at GIO Stadium and is hopeful of returning to full fitness this week ahead of the Brumbies away match against the Blues in Auckland.