Toomua signs with Leicester Tigers

by staff

Wallabies back Matt Toomua will join the Leicester Tigers on a three-year deal from the end of 2016.

Toomua will move to the Tigers after the end of the 2016 Super Rugby season, despite being signed with Australian rugby until the end of 2017.

The move will give Toomua more opportunity to spend time with fiancee, international cricketer and footballer Ellyse Perry, whose seasons tend to see them on opposite sides of the world for much of the year.

Toomua has played 31 Tests for the Wallabies, including the recent Rugby World Cup, meaning he won’t be eligible for International call ups while based in England..

The 25-year-old had limited game time through the tournament, playing off the bench for the Wallabies with the return of Matt Giteau to the squad, but was effective in his stints.

Starting in Australia's pool match against Uruguay, Toomua scored one of the side's best tries, finishing off an electric Quade Cooper attacking passage.

He has played a critical role in the Brumbies team in recent seasons, playing 75 games for the ACT franchise, splitting his time between flyhalf and inside centre.

A knee injury curtailed his 2015 season but he will be a major loss for the Brumbies, after nearly a decade playing at the franchise.

In a statement, Toomua said he was excited to join the Tigers and continue to develop his rugby.

"After meeting with (Leicester director of rugby) Richard Cockerill and (head coach) Aaron Mauger, I feel very fortunate to be able to further develop as a rugby player in such a great environment and hope to contribute to the club's future success,” he said.

Leicester’s director of rugby, Richard Cockerill, said Toomua’s addition was a major boon to the Tigers’ back line.

“It is no secret we have been looking to sign a top-class player to add to our backline resources and Matt is certainly in that category,” he said.

"He is still a young man but has already achieved such a lot in Super Rugby and played extensively in Test rugby for the Wallabies.

"We look forward to his arrival in the summer and to seeing him work with our back line and with Aaron and the coaching team.

“I'm sure his arrival will excite supporters too because he will be a top-class addition to the squad."

Toomua will play out the 2016 season with the Brumbies before heading to Leicester.