Gill the final Aussie to leave Toulon

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Toulon's band of Aussies is officially broken up, with flanker Liam Gill the latest to fly the coop.

Gill follows Matt Giteau (Suntory), Drew Mitchell (retirement) and James O'Connor (Sale) in leaving Toulon, while Ben Barba returned to rugby league after a short-lived stint with the side.

The flanker's impending move had been speculated for some time.

The French powerhouse will still have one Australian link, with NRL star Semi Radradra joining the club.

The 25-year-old, whose move was announced last week, will reunite with his former Queensland teammates Mike Harris and Curtis Browning in Lyon ahead of the 2017-18 Top 14 season.

Gill was one of the form players in the Top 14 last season, continuing an impressive vein of form that won him Super Rugby fans.

This is the second of a two-year contract, leaving scope for the Queenslander to return to Australia before the 2019 World Cup, should he want to.

Australia's backrow stocks remain fairly deep, and it was in fact that depth that pushed Gill overseas in the first place, and he's unlikely to be the last one looking offshore as regular Tests spots elude him.

Sean McMahon is believed to be on the verge of a move to Japan, reportedly not satisfied with the opportunities he's received at a Test level, with Michael Hooper and David Pocock ahead of him in the sevens pecking order.

The emergence of Force flanker Richard Hardwick, one of six June Wallabies debutants has made that combination more intriguing, as the Wallabies look to build towards the 2019 Rugby World Cup.