Ma'a Nonu's rugby career over the past few years has rarely been dull - the enforced move from the Hurricanes and swapping between the Blues, Highlanders, Blues and back to the Hurricanes has seen to that - but if anyone can be relied upon to take it to a new level of eccentricity it must be Toulon owner Mourad Boudjellal.

It was Boudjellal who announced yesterday that All Blacks midfielder Nonu will join the French club on a two-year deal after next year's World Cup. It came days after Dan Carter's announcement that he is joining rivals Racing Metro on a three-year deal and the timing is significant - the outspoken and publicity hungry Boudjellal apparently keen on releasing his own good news following Carter's record-breaking deal.

Not surprisingly, Boudjellal, a multi-millionaire who is also the club's president, had something to say about Carter's deal.

Speaking less than a week before Carter's announcement, Boudjellal said whichever club signed the No10 would do so at the risk of breaching the salary cap, adding the 32-year-old Carter would be on a deal worth about $2.8 million a year.


"One thing is certain, the one [club which signs] Carter, if he is in France, does not respect the salary cap," he told "We cannot afford to do that. But that does not matter, and it is even desirable because to [play against Racing Metro] will make us a little money and it will be great for the economy of the Top 14."

He added: "What is not normal, this is not what has been done to bring him to France ... one must go through other channels. Instead, we should do so with full transparency.

"If you have 20 per cent of your payroll that starts on one player, it's complicated."

In announcing Nonu's deal, Boudjellal made mention of Tana Umaga, a former All Black who had a big impact on the club as a player, manager and mentor of Sonny Bill Williams.

"Nonu will [wear] the Toulon jersey for two seasons. It is a wish because it represents the club's history - one can not help but make the connection between him and Tana Umaga," Boudjellal said.

The 54-year-old Boudjellal, who has attracted such players as Jonny Wilkinson, Matt Giteau and James O'Connor to his club, is said to be bad company following a defeat.

He is also fond of stalking the field during matches and received a 130-day touchline ban for saying that he felt "sodomised" by the performance of a referee during a particularly rancorous loss at Clermont in 2012.

The French Rugby Referees Union threatened to sue Boudjellal for defamation after the remarks, only for him to reply: "I am not surprised that they are attacking me. With what they are paid, they need the money."


* New Zealand Rugby Union chief executive Steve Tew today said he hoped to be able to confirm Wayne Smith's addition to the All Blacks coaching roster within the next few days.

Chiefs assistant coach Smith is a near certainty to join Steve Hansen and Co next year, but Tew said: "He needs to be completely sure he can come into the environment ... and add real value."