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'A player to be excited about': Leinster confirm signing of Wallaby Joe Tomane

The 28-year-old joins the province as a non-Irish qualified player following the retirement of Isa Nacewa.

Tomane has played against Leinster several times in recent seasons.
Tomane has played against Leinster several times in recent seasons.
Image: Ramsey Cardy

LEINSTER HAVE MOVED quickly to bolster their backline resources ahead of next season, with the capture of Australian Joe Tomane confirmed by the Champions Cup and Pro14 champions this morning.

The 28-year-old, capped 17 times by the Wallabies, has signed for the eastern province from Top 14 outfit Montpellier, and will link up with Leo Cullen’s squad for pre-season in the coming weeks.

Following the retirement of captain Isa Nacewa, Leinster had been looking to reinforce their backline options and the acquisition of Tomane provides big-game experience in midfield ahead of the province’s double defence in 2018/19.

An explosive and powerful ball-carrier, Tomane has played most of his rugby over the last two seasons in the number 12 and 13 jersey for Montpellier, but can also be used on the wing, and will bring real versatility to Leinster next term, particularly during the international windows.

Tomane has played regularly against Leinster for the French club in the Champions Cup in recent years and The42 first reported in May that Guy Easterby and Cullen had identified the Wallaby as a target to fill the vacant non-Irish qualified player slot vacated by Nacewa.

“Joe has played in a number of different environments in Australia and most recently in France,” Cullen said.

“I think he is a player that will add considerably to the group and is a player that everyone who supports the team will be excited about.

“I hope that we will all learn from some of the experiences that Joe has had in both codes of rugby. He has played with some great players and played under some great coaches too so he will add greatly in terms of continuing to develop Leinster’s young players.

“One of the main factors in signing Joe has been the enthusiasm he has shown in looking to join the club.

“We look forward to welcoming Joe to Leinster in a few weeks’ time.”

Robbie Henshaw with Joseph Tomane Tomane is an explosive ball-carrier with big-game experience. Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

Formerly a professional rugby league player, Tomane switched to union when signing for the Brumbies back in 2011, and he would go on to make more than 60 Super Rugby appearances for the club before moving to France in 2016.

The powerful back made his Australia debut on the wing against Scotland in 2012, with his most recent international cap coming against Uruguay in the 2015 World Cup.

During his time in France, Tomane played 44 times for Montpellier, scoring 16 tries, and his final game for the club was as a second-half replacement in the Top 14 final defeat to Castres earlier this month.

Ahead of his arrival in Dublin, Tomane said: “I am extremely grateful and blessed to have this opportunity to join Leinster for the next two seasons.

“It is a privilege to have the opportunity to be coached by Leo, Stuart and to train and play alongside world class athletes.

“Leinster is one of the premier rugby clubs in the world with a rich culture and I will do everything I can to uphold the standards that the past and present players have laid out. I am excited to share my knowledge and experience with the upcoming talents while looking forward to learning and growing as much as possible myself.

“I hope to have a positive impact on the Leinster community and I can’t wait to meet all the supporters and share many special moments with you all.”

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