Brumbies and Wallabies fly half Noah Lolesio is the latest Australian player to join French side Toulon on a short-term ‘wild card’ deal during the upcoming Rugby World Cup.
The deal will see Lolesio move to the Top 14 club during the World Cup window as the international replacement for Welsh midfielder Dan Biggar before returning to the Brumbies after the global masterpiece in France.
Featured season in 2020
Lolesio had a breakout season with the Brumbies in 2020 and also made his debut for the Wallabies in a Bledisloe Cup test later that year.
The 23-year-old has made 12 Test appearances since then, under former Australia head coach Dave Rennie, but was not selected by new Wallabies boss Eddie Jones for the rugby championship.
“Noah Lolesio will make up for Dan Biggar’s absence during the World Cup,” Toulon’s director of rugby, Pierre Mignoni, told the club’s official website.
“He is a complete player who has good gestural qualities and good footwork. He is also versatile and can slide into the center if necessary.
“Noah will arrive with Jake Gordon, whom he knows well having played several international matches with him. This should also make it easier to integrate him.”
Lolesio is set to form a Wallaby running back partnership with Waratahs captain and scrum half Gordon, who also agreed to join Toulon at short notice, as a replacement for France’s Baptiste Serin, last week.
“Jake is an experienced international scrum-half,” Mignoni said.
“He will bring his leadership, his vision and his physical qualities.”
Several Australians ready to be in France
Lolesio and Gordon are among several Australians who will be in France for the World Cup which launches in September.
There will be a Barbarians tour running concurrently with the world showpiece, with up to 15 players selected from Australia by head coach Jason Gilmore.