Carl Hayman wants to be a dairy farmer, family man and All Black.

However, he could not find a way to blend all three parts of the puzzle and, after months of agonising, the tighthead prop has accepted a lucrative contract in France to achieve his strongest goals.

Hayman signed what is believed to be a multimillion-dollar deal with the Toulon club at the weekend.

"Toulon is very excited about securing Carl's signature but we would also be happy to release Carl to play international rugby for New Zealand if they were to pick him," club owner Mourad Boudjellal said.

"I would be most surprised if he wasn't selected for the World Cup as he is the best tighthead prop in the game."

That offer will test the New Zealand Rugby Union's resolve and edict that anyone selected for the All Blacks has to be playing in New Zealand competitions.

For months, Hayman fretted about his decision.

"In fact, I think it has been in the back of my mind all the time I have been here at Newcastle," he told the Herald yesterday.

It came down to a choice between pragmatism against emotion. The 1000th All Black wanted to tackle the challenge of another World Cup campaign after the letdown of 2007.

"After that tournament it was time to move on," he said.

"But it was not as clear this time. There were a lot of variables, what-ifs and trying to look into the crystal ball.

"I could see the positives and negatives on both sides. In the end, it came down to a financial and lifestyle move."

Hayman wants to own a dairy farm in Taranaki, he wants to settle and raise a family in his home province once his playing days are done. He had more chance of achieving those goals if he signed on for Toulon.

The NZRU made a generous late pitch to change his mind but there were some matters that needed more work and time.

"In the end Jock [Hobbs] and Steve [Tew] bent their backs to try and make it work," Hayman's agent Warren Alcock said.

"Carl is grateful but when he boiled it all down, the difference in the equation was significant and there were clearly other factors he was considering."

At no stage, Alcock said, had Hayman been offered a farm to entice him to return to New Zealand. That deal had never been on the table and was simply incorrect.

Hayman wanted to buy a dairy farm and, like anyone, would be looking for the best opportunities when the time came to buy a property.

His most productive avenue for raising that capital was to play in Europe. There were no guarantees if he returned to New Zealand that he would be fit or chosen for the World Cup.

"I had a good crack at the All Blacks and that made the decision a wee bit easier," Hayman said.

"I looked at my career and thought this will be my last deal and I've had a good run at it. I started reasonably young and I think this will be a good way to finish.

"A big part of it was getting some money to go towards buying a farm. I have to think of my family's financial security.

"At other times, I have put other things first. Now I have to think about how many years I have left, and Newcastle and now Toulon are all about setting up a sound financial base for the future."

Toulon had been pressing Hayman hard for his signature for some time and the 45-test former All Black said he would have signed a week ago except for the NZRU's late counter-bid.

He will see out his Newcastle contract and hopes to have a month or two away from rugby before he links up with coach Phillippe St Andre and his new team at Toulon.

Carl Hayman:

* Age: 30.

* Profile: 1.93m, 115kg.

* Career: 45 tests.

* Debuted against Samoa in 2001 as 1000th All Black.

* Last test: October 2007 World Cup quarter-final loss to France in Cardiff.

* Current club: Newcastle.