Malakai Fekitoa

Jacob Umaga destined for bright future in England, says ex-All Black Malakai Fekitoa

Former All Black midfielder Fekitoa, in his first season at the English club, has credited the 21-year-old first-five for transforming Wasps' attack in the absence of of another ex-Kiwi international, Lima Sopoaga, due to illness.

Sopoaga is now back in contention for selection but has struggled to make an impact since signing with Wasps in 2017 and Umaga's impressive form will only have put more pressure on the 18-test All Black.

Malakai Fekitoa sidelined for six weeks in France

The 26-year-old, who earned 24 All Blacks caps, had an operation on Monday, according to a report in L'Equipe.

Fekitoa is not expected to play again for his Toulon club until late February or March.

Tonga-born Fekitoa joined Toulon in 2017 after 65 games for the Highlanders.

He has scored eight tries in 30 matches for Toulon and has appeared in 10 Top 14 games and four European Champions Cup fixtures this season.

Fekitoa benched by Auckland

First the Toulon-bound midfielder lost his place in the All Blacks squad, and now he has been demoted to the bench in what is proving to be a decidedly indifferent final lap of the track with Auckland in the Mitre 10 Cup.

Fekitoa has been far from a lone ranger, but he has struggled for anything resembling his best form as Auckland have stumbled to just one win from their first five matches to sit just a point above Counties Manukau at the foot of the Premiership standings.

Fekitoa reveals why he has decided to leave New Zealand

Fekitoa signed a two-year deal with the Top 14 side, confirming the deal via his Instagram page last month. 

The 24-Test player spoke for the first time on Thursday about his decision to leave, revealing a slip down the pecking order with the All Blacks was the main decision to leave.

"It was the hardest decision I have ever made," Fekitoa told reporters.

"I just started my career and even though 90 percent of fans and supporters disagree with it I believe it is the right to do that and I think it will make me a better player.

Fekitoa signs with Toulon – report

French news outlet L'equipe has reported Toulon owner Mourad Boudjellal announced the signing at a fan event on Monday night (NZT Tuesday), declaring the "imminent arrival of a world champion All Black centre".

The newspaper said the 25-year-old signed with the French club this month.

Boudjellal said the signing was "the biggest coup of the summer in the transfer market".

 But Toulon released a statement on Thursday morning hosing down speculation, saying until moves had been officially confirmed by the club they were only rumours.

Fekitoa added to All Blacks squad

Fekitoa, 25, has made 23 appearances for the All Blacks, but the last of those was in November 2016.

He comes into the squad as a potential replacement for Sonny Bill Williams, who is facing a suspension after being sent off in his team's second Test loss.

UPDATE: Midfielder Malakai Fekitoa has been called into the All Blacks squad ahead of the third DHL New Zealand Lions Series Test #NZLvBIL

Malakai Fekitoa set for Toulon - report

Fekitoa was omitted from the All Blacks squad for the Lions series and is off contract with New Zealand Rugby at the end of the year. 

The Highlanders star has admitted he was open to looking overseas and French media outlet Midi Olympique report that Toulon owner Mourad Boudjellal will announce the signing of Fekitoa on a two-year deal on Tuesday.

According to @midi_olympique tomorrow Toulon boss Mourad Boudjellal will announce the signing of All Black Malakai Fekitoa on a 2-year deal.

Toulon chase Malakai Fekitoa again

The Highlanders midfielder was left out of the All Blacks squad for the British and Irish Lions series, with Toulon swooping in for his services with the bid.

Sources told Midi Olympique on Friday (NZ time) the club was optimistic of securing the 25-year-old's signature.

Fekitoa is off contract at the end of the season, but said in April he was in no rush to make a decision on his future.

​"I don't have a timeframe," Fekitoa said. "I let my management team do all the talking behind the scenes. For me, it's about getting my game right and enjoying my rugby."

Late Fekitoa try secures win for Highlanders

Both sides finished with 14 players in conditions that stifled running rugby as the Highlanders extended their winning run to seven matches, while the Bulls' play-off hopes now look ever more remote.

Fullback Matt Faddes scored the opening try for the visitors, who had to play the final 16 minutes a man down after a red card for wing Waisake Naholo for a reckless tackle with the game evenly poised at 10-10.

Fekitoa only getting better

Under pressure to perform ahead of the All Blacks and British and Irish Lions series in winter, Fekitoa scored two tries in his team's 51-12 romp against the Melbourne Rebels in Dunedin on Friday night. 

The 24-year-old wasn't perfect - there were still a couple of frustrating handling errors - but there were enough signs for Coach Tony Brown to believe he's on the right track. 

"I think he was a little bit underdone in those first few games," Brown said. "But all the All Blacks were. It's hard for the All Blacks to come back and play good footy straight away.