Mathieu Bastareaud: Toulon centre apologises for homophobic comment

Bastareaud, 29, apologised after the match but will face disciplinary action and, if found guilty, would face a minimum ban of six weeks.

The incident occurred in the last minute of a 36-0 Toulon victory in which Bastareaud scored a try.

He tweeted: "I want to apologise for my reaction to the player's insults."

The centre, who has won 42 France caps, added: "I reacted badly in responding to his provocation, I'm sincerely saddened that I could have hurt people."

Toulon offers staggering salary to Taulupe Faletau to move to French giants

The Rugby Paper are reporting controversial Toulon owner Mourad Boudjellal is ready to hand Faletau's current employers Bath a whopping €500,000 transfer fee to buy the 70-times capped Wales No.8 out of the final year of his contract in the west country.

And the three-times kings of Europe are also said to be ready to offer the 27-year-old an eye-popping €1m a year deal to make the move across the Channel to the Stade Felix Mayol.

Jerome Kaino linked to French club

According to Midi Olympique, Kaino was in discussions with the Top 14 side during the All Blacks' recent Northern tour.

His current contract with New Zealand Rugby goes through to the end of the 2018 season.

Kaino had to return home during the French leg of the tour due to a posterior cruciate ligament injury suffered in the Barbarians match.

The 34-year-old, 81-test veteran, was fighting to resurrect his international career after being bumped down the loose forwards pecking order.

Another All Black joins Toulon

He joins fellow All Blacks Luke McAlister, Malakai Fekitoa and Ma'a Nonu at the French Top 14 club.

It's Mathewson's latest stop in a career which has taken him from the Hurricanes to the Blues to the Western Force and domestic stints with Wellington, Hawke's Bay and Canterbury.

He had a stint in England last season with Bristol, but has most recently been plying his trade with King Country in the Heartland Championship.

The 31-year-old, who played four tests for the All Blacks, agreed a deal that includes an option for a second season in the south of France.

Ma’a Nonu yellow card costs Toulon

The 35-year-old midfielder was banished in the 39th minute for a shoulder charge on Clermont's English fullback Nick Abendanon on Sunday.

He joined lock Romain Taofifenua - sinbinned six minutes earlier for stamping on an opponent - in the cooler, leaving Toulon down to 13 men in the early season round two clash.

Clermont - who beat Toulon in the French Top 14 final last June - made the visitors pay with Fijian wing Alivereti Raka scoring after the halftime siren. They scored again through centre Damian Penaud in the 51st minute to extend their lead.

Unflappable Parra helps Clermont end recent final hoodoo

Beaten two years ago by Stade Francais, Clermont also tasted the desperation of defeat in three of the past five European Cup finals - including three weeks ago against Saracens at Murrayfield.

But on Sunday at Stade de France it was their turn to step up from the role of perennial bridesmaids and instead it is Toulon who are left to lament a final curse of their own, having been on the wrong end of four of the last six in the Top 14, although that record is mitigated by their 2014 triumph.

Ma'a Nonu's Toulon lose European Champions Cup quarterfinal

The All Blacks great's Toulon side was knocked out of the quarterfinals by French rival Clermont Auvergne in a comprehensive 29-9 win at home on Sunday.

Former Chiefs and Counties Manukau No 8 Fritz Lee was in the Clermont pack that rejoiced in avenging 2013 and 2015 finals defeats to Toulon with the win. 

French scrumhalf Morgan Parra kicked 16 points for the victors and Noa Nakaitaci and substitute Damian Penaud scored tries.

Wales fullback Leigh Halfpenny slotted three penalties for Toulon, who could not cross the Clermont try-line.

Nonu staying at Toulon

Toulon president Mourad Boudjellal has revealed that Nonu has penned a one-year contract extension with the club.

That means the two-time Rugby World Cup winner will stay with the Top 14 outfit until June 2018.

The 34-year-old joined Toulon after helping New Zealand to defend their Rugby World Cup crown at the 2015 tournament in England.

Nonu, who won New Zealand's Kelvin R Tremain Player of the Year award in 2015, battled in his first year with Toulon but has impressed during the 2016/17 season, scoring three tries in 19 matches in all competitions.


Barba quits rugby league after accepting Toulon deal

The Sharks said Barba had informed the club he had accepted a two-and-a-half-year deal offered by Toulon.

"Ben believes accepting this offer to be in the best interests of himself and his family," a Sharks statement said.

"While disappointed to be losing a player of his calibre, the welfare of Ben and his family is our main priority and we are supportive of the decision he has made."

Barba had planned on spending the second half of the French Top 14 season with Toulon before returning to the NRL mid-year after serving a 12-month suspension for illicit drug use.

Toulon say they've signed Ben Barba

"Ben Barba will arrive in Toulon next week," read a statement on Toulon's website.

RNZ reports only two weeks ago, Cronulla re-signed Barba two months after his contract was terminated by the Sharks following a positive test to cocaine.

The 27-year-old was hit with a 12-match ban in November as a result of the second positive sample he returned under the NRL's illicit drug policy.

Barba penned a one-year contract for the 2017 season but the deal is yet to be ratified by the NRL.