Matt Toomua to return back to Australia after end of season with Leicester Tigers

Matt Toomua has signed a new deal with Melbourne Rebels
Matt Toomua has signed a new deal with Melbourne Rebels

Matt Toomua will be in contention to feature for the Bledisloe Cup match against New Zealand in Sydney on 18th August after he has signed a new deal with Rugby Australia and Melbourne Rebels.

Toomua will head back to English Premiership after the upcoming Rugby Championship to see through his current contract with Leicester Tigers and will return to his hometown Melbourne a the end of the Gallagher Premiership 2018/19 season.

The 28-year-old last played for Wallabies in 2016 before he joined the Welford Road unit but his desire to feature for Michael Cheika's side in the 2019 World Cup and to be with his family has prompted him to sign the deal with Rebels and RA.

Toomua will not be part of Australia's trial game against Super Rugby Selection this Friday due to Premiership regulations but is expected to train with the national side ahead of the Rugby Championship opener on 18th August.

"Leicester have been fantastic to me throughout my time here. The option to return to Australia was something that did exist within my contract, only if a chance to represent the Wallabies was there and, with a Rugby World Cup next year, was ultimately one I couldn’t turn down,” Toomua said.

“As well as a chance to represent my country at a World Cup again, the return home also allows me to be closer to both my wife and family after nearly three years on the opposite side of the world.

“The Rebels are a Club on the rise and I was really impressed after having a few conversations with Dave (Wessels) about his plans for the future.

“I am still very much a Tigers player and, if anything, being able to have this all sorted is more positive than have a decision hanging over my head.

“I absolutely love Leicester, have become close friends with all of my teammates here and want to go out in a successful way."

Australia coach Cheika expressed his excitement on the news and believes he will have a vital role to play for the national side.

“It’s a massive boost to the squad and adds to the depth that we’ve built for the broader Wallabies squad in a key position.

“I’m really excited that Matt has decided to return home. He wanted to come back to play rugby in Australia again and also to represent Australia again.”