The exodus of Wallabies to Europe has continued after winger Joe Tomane confirmed he will leave the Brumbies at the end of the season to join French club Montpellier.
The 17-Test Wallaby informed Brumbies supporters of his move in an open letter on Tuesday, but said he wanted to return to Australia and to the gold jersey, and is desperate to help the Canberra-based side win the Super Rugby title before he leaves.
“I hope that the possibility of returning to the Wallabies in the future is something that could happen, however right now my focus is doing everything I can to help the Brumbies in 2016 before my move to France,” Tomane said.
Tomane has missed the past 10 weeks due to a knee injury but is in line to make his return in Friday night’s crunch clash with the Blues in Auckland.
At season’s end, the 26-year-old will link with former Brumbies coach Jake White, who is now in charge at Top 14 side Montpellier, and join a growing number of Australian players on lucrative contracts in European rugby.
But as he is well short of the 60 caps and seven years of service required under the so-called ‘Giteau Law’, he will become ineligible for Wallabies selection.
Tomane said it was a difficult decision to leave but felt the time was right to take on a new challenge.
The speedster spent four years in the NRL, with two seasons at both the Melbourne and Gold Coast, before moving back to rugby, his junior code, for the 2012 Super Rugby campaign.
Brumbies coach and Wallabies assistant Stephen Larkham said: “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.”
Source Article from http://www.espn.co.uk/rugby/story/_/id/16776431/joe-tomane-becomes-next-wallaby-join-european-rugby
Wallaby Joe Tomane switches to Montpellier
ESPN.com – RUGBY