Toulon Confirm Signing of All Blacks Star Leicester Fainga'anuku from Crusaders - Ruck

Toulon Confirm Signing of All Blacks Star Leicester Fainga’anuku from Crusaders

Toulon have won the race to sign talented All Blacks prospect Leicester Fainga’anuku, ahead of the 2023/24 Top 14 season. Fainga’anuku’s 18-month contract will see him through to the end of the 2024/25 season in France.

The winger will see out his Super Rugby commitments with the Crusaders, and join up with Toulon after the 2023 Rugby World Cup. Fainga’anuku has been named in Ian Foster’s squad for the upcoming tournament in France, and is eyeing up a fifth Super Rugby crown with the Christchurch side.

“100%, I’m still hungry for that black jersey. Obviously, last year I didn’t quite get as much game time as I expected, but this season I really want to make a mark and show that I’m one that really is eager to put on that black jersey” he said to

““Especially in the World Cup. Being named in the squad is one thing, but getting the opportunity to play is what drives me.”

Fainga’anuku admitted the bonus of the added financial incentive to set up his family, however the winger’s main attraction to France was to experience a new world of rugby and culture, on and off the field. The 23-year-old has made 52 Crusaders appearances and two All Blacks caps, and is ready to leave all he knows behind on this new venture to the northern hemisphere.

“The last five years, I’ve accomplished more than I ever dreamed of. Four Super Rugby championships, one more to come, fingers crossed. Two NPC championships (with Tasman), and I was fortunate enough to get an All Blacks cap.

“When people hear about this, they think straight to the money, but for those rugby heads who really look into the European competition and the footy they play, it’s got to take guts for a 23-year-old to leave everything behind and head over.

“That’s the thing that excites me. The money is just the bonus, but the real excitement is competing against some of the best international players in the world every week, the majority of them are up there.”

Toulon have an exciting attacking threat joining them soon, as in the past two years Fainga’anuku has already worked his way to scoring 21 tries for the Crusaders. However, his talents are not limited to being a powerhouse winger, as the Crusaders star has previously played centre for his club.

“The first few years, I relied so much on my build and my power. Being amongst quality athletes at the Crusaders, I’ve been dedicating my game and craft to analysing other outside backs in the competition, also overseas. Trying to find ways I can be a point of difference.”