Reports in France on Wednesday suggest that 2015 World Cup winner Nehe Milner-Skudder might never arrive in Toulon to take up the three-year contract agreed on last December.
French sports daily L'Equipe are reporting that the 28-year-old, who was ruled out of All Blacks selection for the 2019 World Cup after a shoulder injury prevented him playing any Super Rugby match for the Hurricanes, could now be surplus to requirements.
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It was December 13 last year when Toulon made a big show after securing the signatures of Eben Etzebeth and Milner-Skudder for the 2019/2020 season.
Fresh from his World Cup-winning exploits with the Springboks, Etzebeth is due to arrive in Toulon before the end of the year and honour his three-year deal.
However, the arrival of Milner-Skudder, who has not played any rugby since November 3 last year, is now in jeopardy due to shoulder complications.
It appears that the injured player's contract has not yet been approved by the French League. Before this happens, he must have a medical examination and it appears this might not happen due to his shoulder problems.
If the release of the contracted Milner-Skudder is confirmed, it will leave Toulon in a position to utilise the freed-up budget to chase down a replacement, namely Saracens and Wales' Liam Williams.
He is expected to be a casualty of any shake-up at Saracens in the wake of their salary cap saga. However, L'Equipe added that Toulon won't have it easy capturing Williams' signature as the player has allegedly been courted by numerous other clubs in France.