Aus­tralia’s play­maker Toomua out of World Cup af­ter new Le­ices­ter deal

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way back to full fit­ness to form a mid­field part­ner­ship with Eng­land fly-half Ge­orge Ford.

“I’m very ex­cited about com­mit­ting to the club for a few more years,” Toomua said in a club state­ment. “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.”

Toomua, the hus­band of Aus­tralia women’s cricket star Ell­yse Perry, who scored an Ashes dou­ble cen­tury against Eng­land in Syd­ney last week, added, “Le­ices­ter Tigers have a rich his­tory and it’s a priv­i­lege to have the op­por­tu­nity to add to it.”

Le­ices­ter coach Matt O’Con­nor was de­lighted to have re­tained the ser­vices of a player he first worked with at Aus­tra- lia’s Brumbies Su­per Rugby fran­chise.

“Matt is a world-class op­er­a­tor in at­tack and de­fense,” 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.”

News of Toomua’s con­tract ex­ten­sion came just days af­ter Le­ices­ter an­nounced they had signed Wal­la­bies hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau who, hav­ing made 80 Test ap­pear­ances, re­mains avail­able for Aus­tralia se­lec­tion.

In ad­di­tion to Toomua, Le­ices­ter an­nounced Mon­day that sev­eral other play­ers had signed con­tract ex­ten­sions, in­clud­ing Bri­tish and Ir­ish Lions prop Dan Cole.

“Coley is an out­stand­ing player and a great ex­am­ple of a player who has come through the ranks at the club, earning his place in the se­nior squad and pro­gress­ing to be­come first choice for club and coun­try,” said O’Con­nor of the front row, who has 75 Eng­land caps.

“He is among a core of se­nior pro­fes­sion­als who have come through to­gether here and are now in key lead­er­ship roles within the squad.”

Tonga wing Telusa Veianu, Eng­land flanker Mike Wil­liams and lock Greg Bate­man have also agreed new deals.

Veainu ar­rived at Welford Road af­ter the 2015 World Cup and O’Con­nor said of the 26-year-old, “Telusa has been in out­stand­ing form and is a key player for us. “We have some top-class play­ers in our back­line and Telusa is cen­tral to that.”

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