Toomua makes commitment to Wallabies

Matt Toomua (Gallo Images)
Matt Toomua (Gallo Images)

Sydney - Matt Toomua will head back to Australia ahead of this year's Rugby Championship before returning to Leicester for the remainder of the campaign.

Toomua, who can play flyhalf or centre, has agreed terms with Rugby Australia and the Melbourne Rebels, making him eligible to play in the 2018 Rugby Championship and next year’s Rugby World Cup.

He will return to Tigers during the Rugby Championship rest periods, which coincide with rounds 1 and 4 of the Premiership.

And, after the conclusion of the Rugby Championship, he will be available for the remainder of the Tigers 2018/19 campaign before returning to Australia at the end of the season.

Toomua, who has made 23 appearances for Tigers since joining in 2016, said the decision was made with a "heavy heart" and that he is fully committed to ending his time at Leicester on a high.

“It has been a tough couple of weeks and one of the hardest decisions I’ve had to make in my career,” Toomua told Leicester's official website.

“I absolutely love the club, have become close friends with all of my team-mates and want to go out in a successful way.

“The option to return to Australia was something that did exist within my contract after the 2019 season. In all honesty I thought my time in Australian rugby was finished, and I was very happy in Leicester and contributing to the club here. However the opportunity to return home to my wife and family after almost three years apart, and potentially play in another World Cup was too hard to ignore.”

“I am still very much a Tigers player and, if anything, being able to have this all sorted is more positive than to have a decision hanging over my head," he added.

“I absolutely love the club, have become close friends with all of my team-mates and want to go out in a successful way.”

Toomua concluded: “Welford Road is a great place to play rugby. It is easily the best club rugby stadium I have played in and to be able to call it my home ground has been something I’ve been very proud of, especially considering the history the club has.

“There is still plenty of time left before I finish my time here and I am committed to adding to that history."

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