Former All Black joins Clermont

Rugby ball (File)
Rugby ball (File)

Paris - Former New Zealand back Isaia Toeava will provide cover at Clermont for injured fullback Nick Abendanon after joining as a medical joker on Monday.

The 2011 World Cup winner, who can play either at fullback, wing or centre, has signed a deal that will keep him at the French Top 14 side until June 2018.

"We are very pleased to have reached an agreement with Isaia. He can play in a number of positions at the back and this is a time when we have many players out injured and we need to adapt," said Jean-Marc Lhermet, Clermont's director of sport.

Clermont, who lost in the European Champions Cup final to Toulon last year, sit fourth in the Top 14 table after slumping to an unprecedented third home defeat of the season to Montpellier on Sunday.

"We had been targeting this (a medical joker) for a long time. We recently managed to reach an agreement for the next two seasons, but we had an opportunity to use this option earlier," Lhermet added.

Toeava will replace English fullback Abendanon, the 2015 European Player of the Year, who has been ruled out for three months with a groin injury.

Born in Moto'otua in Samoa, Toeava played in both the 2007 and 2011 World Cups for the All Blacks.

The 30-year-old made his international debut at the age of 19 and went on to make 36 appearances for the All Blacks, scoring eight tries.

He has spent the last three years playing in Japan for Canon Eagles and Kubota Spears.

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