19 Dec 2008

McAlister linked with Toulon

6:07 am on 19 December 2008

The former All Black centre Luke McAlister looks set to be offered a huge contract with French club side Toulon that will see him miss the chance to return to New Zealand in time to qualify for the All Blacks 2011 Rugby World Cup squad.

McAlister is still only 25 and comes off contract with English club Sale at the end of the current season.

There had been some speculation that he would return to New Zealand in order to make the Rugby World Cup squad but that now seems unlikely.

Tana Umaga's Toulon are believed to have a package on offer worth 1 and a half million dollars a season for McAlister to play for them.

McAlister and his father were reported to have been seen in the south of France last week and Sale's departing coach Philippe Saint-Andre is set to link with Toulon next year as the club's head of rugby.

The big spending club already have former All Black Jerry Collins and former NRL star Sonny Bill Williams on their books.