Julian Savea

It's official: The Bus has joined the Wellington Lions for the Mitre 10 Cup

The 30-year-old has been playing for French club Toulon since 2018 but made the move home with his family in May.

Since his return, Savea has played one game of club rugby for Oriental-Rongotai and was contracted as injury cover for the Hurricanes during the last two weeks of Super Rugby. He has now said he is elated about getting back into the Lions jersey full-time.

Julian Savea has eyes firmly set on midfield role in the Mitre 10 Cup

Now, the 30-year-old hopes to earn a fulltime contract with his former side for next year but first, he’ll have to prove himself in the Mitre 10 Cup.

Savea last featured for the Wellington Lions in 2017 when he took over as interim captain as the side fought their way back into the Premiership division.

A lot as changed for Savea in the last three years – including his position of choice.

Mitre 10 Cup sides line up for Julian Savea as he makes New Zealand rugby return at No. 12

Savea completed a busy 80 minutes at second five-eighth for his childhood club Oriental-Rongotai as they went down 20-15 to Poneke at Kilbirnie Park in Wellington on Saturday afternoon.

The hitout was Savea’s first in New Zealand since leaving for France in 2018. Since then he returned home in May and signed a short-term replacement contract with the Hurricanes for the remainder of Super Rugby Aotearoa which finishes next week.

The 30-year-old carried strongly and looked fit and trim in his return to action.

Former All Blacks star Julian Savea reveals plans for future in New Zealand rugby

Savea has joined his Hurricanes teammates in camp, following his return to the franchise. The last time the man nicknamed ‘The Bus’ played for them was in the 2018 semi-final against the Crusaders.

He spent the last two European rugby seasons with Toulon in the French Top 14, before departing in March.

Savea says he initially reached out to the Canes when returning to New Zealand, who hold a special place in his heart having spent his entire provincial career in Wellington.

“I would love to [stay], but it’s out of my hands at the moment,” he said.

Savea set for Toulon exit

Savea’s current deal is set to expire in the summer, and despite continuing to feature regularly for the Top14 side, a series of underwhelming performances seems to have led the club to the decision that the player is not worth his lucrative wages.

A report in RMC Sport states that Toulon are willing to offload the 54-cap All Black in order to free up some space in their squad.

Savea joined Toulon from the Hurricanes in 2018, but has failed to make the desired impact at the French club.

Cory Jane pranks fans into thinking Julian Savea is returning to Hurricanes

Former Hurricanes outside back Cory Jane, who is renowned for being a joker, got the hopes of some fans up on Saturday. 

With the five Kiwi franchises set to reveal their final few signings on Tuesday night, Jane seized on the opportunity to prank fans into thinking Savea, who played 116 games for the Canes between 2011-2018, was leaving Toulon and returning home. 

"Gotta let the cat out of the bag but can't wait to see you (@juliansavea7) back with the Canes this season," he tweeted. 

Former All Black Julian Savea offers sympathy for Muslim community after Christchurch attacks

Now playing in France for Toulon, Savea is familiar with the Islamic community, with his wife Fatima a practising Muslim, even observing Ramadan to learn more about the culture.

Taking to Twitter, the 28-year old spoke about his heartbreak at the events from last Friday.

"I've been privileged enough to learn about Islam through my wife's family, especially her grandparents," Savea wrote.

"They've been to Mecca twice, they pray 5 times a day, they encouraged me to fast during Ramadan and taught me what it means to be a Muslim.

Former All Black Savea unharmed after car accident

Julian Savea's wife, Fatima Savea, has taken to Instagram giving a detailed account of the accident and to reassure those concerned of his safety.

"Tonight Julian fell asleep behind the wheels of his car and flipped his car. Thankfully he is safe and sound in bed with me now after being dropped home by the ambulance because silly me had her phone on silent and missed all the calls and texts," Fatima wrote on Instagram on Sunday (local time).

Cash lures the 'Bus' to Toulon

Savea is joining joining French club Toulon on a two year deal and will leave at the end of the Super Rugby competition.

The 27-year-old has played 54 tests for the All Blacks, scoring 46 tries, putting second on New Zealand's all-time try-scoring list behind only Doug Howlett.

Nick named the Bus Julian Savea made his debut for the All Blacks in 2012 against Ireland but struggled for form and fitness at times with his last test against the British and Irish Lions last year.

Julian Savea joins the AB's 27-club

Julian Savea confirmed that he'll be leaving New Zealand after Super Rugby wraps up, to take his place mining the seemingly bottomless pit of privately owned club riches in France.

He's off to Toulon, where he'll be able to hopefully play out a number of lucrative seasons. After all, he's only 27 - but that's too old to be an All Black winger these days.