Toomua extends with Leicester

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Matt Toomua has all but ended any possibility of being available for the 2019 Rugby World Cup, signing a contract extension with Leicester.

Toomua joined the Tigers at the end of 2016, on a three-year deal, keeping the possibility open of a 2019 return to Australia and the Wallabies.

This new deal, announced on Monday night by Leicester, takes him beyond that tournament, and with just 31 Tests to his name, he is not eligible to play for the Wallabies overseas.

If he were to sign to an Australian Super Rugby club for the 2020 season, he could theoretically be eligible to play, but that would be all but impossible, with the European season running through until May, and Super Rugby all but over by then.

Toomua has found some form with Leicester this season, after a frustrating maiden year that ended in just his second game with a ruptured ACL, combining with England's George Ford in the 10-12 channel.

The 27-year-old is becoming a key player for the Tigers, and said he was looking forward to adding to his time there.

I’m very excited about committing to the club for a few more years," he said.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here. Despite having an injury-interrupted first year, I have loved being a part of the club and am very excited about our ambitions in the near future.

“Leicester Tigers have a rich history and it’s a privilege to have the opportunity to add to it.”

Tigers coach Matt O'Connor said Toomua was an invaluable part of their team.

“Matt is a world-class operator in attack and defence,” said O’Connor.

“He brings out the best in the players around him, he’s a great decision-maker and communicator in the backline and everyone appreciates the quality of his work there.

“I’m absolutely delighted that he sees Leicester as the place to play his rugby and to continue his development.”

Toomua's re-signing comes just three days after Wallabies hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau signed with the English club, though he will remain a Test option, with 80 Tests to his name.