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Dublin: 6 °C Monday 25 May, 2020

'If we paid €1.7m for Israel Folau I'd need to be locked up' declares Toulon owner

Mourad Boudjellal has scotched reports that the Heineken Cup champions will move for the Wallabies fullback after the World Cup.

Waratahs' Israel Folau breaks through a tackle from Highlanders' Shane Christie.
Waratahs' Israel Folau breaks through a tackle from Highlanders' Shane Christie.
Image: Rob Griffith

THE TOULON OWNER has poured cold, incredulous water on reports that the Top 14 and Heineken Cup champions would be making a move for Israel Folau.

The Wallabies fullback is in high demand ever since his outstanding Test performances against the British & Irish Lions last summer. He has been linked with a move back to Rugby League but Australia coach Ewen McKenzie is confident his star player will commit to Super Rugby for another season, in preparation for the World Cup.

Toulon got their 2014/15 season underway, on Friday, with an official ceremony marking last season’s achievements, the schedule of home games ahead, paying tribute to outgoing captain Jonny Wilkinson and setting the agenda for the months ahead. Afterwards, Toulon owner Mourad Boudjellal spoke with reporters and answered numerous transfer queries.

He was asked by La Provence about the possibility of bring in Folau after the World Cup [November 2015]. Boudjellal responded, “We haven’t made an offer of €1.7 million. You know what, the day when I offer €1.7 million to a rugby player, I’ll need to be locked up.”

He added that Folau was a “dream” player before insisting his team are well covered at 15. Boudjellal continued, “We already have Delon Armitage, Leigh Halfpenny and have just signed James O’Connor. We’re not doing badly. If we paid €1.7 million to one player then that would leave a big gap elsewhere.”

Toulon have brought in Wales and Lions fullback Leigh Halfpenny from Cardiff Blues, in a deal reported to be for £1.2m over two seasons. Boudjellal also dismissed making a move for Halfpenny’s international teammate, prop Adam Jones, saying it Toulon were ‘absolutely not signing him’.

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Patrick McCarry

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