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.

Toulon sneak past Clermont, Nadolo treble sinks Brive

Clermont trailed 16-3 after 25 minutes when Leigh Halfpenny followed up three early penalties by converting a Charles Ollivon try.

However, the visitors came roaring back and moved ahead in the second half as Patricio Fernandez crossed twice in the space of two minutes.

Toulon were ultimately grateful for a 73rd-minute try from Mamuka Gorgodze, with Pierre Bernard adding the extras to ensure the lead changed hands once again.

Even then the drama was not over, Camille Lopez missing the target with a late drop-goal attempt that would have earned Clermont victory.

Imhoff treble stuns Toulon

Racing beat Toulon in a showdown in Barcelona back in June to be crowned champions of France despite having Maxime Machenaud sent off, having also ended their European Champions Cup reign at the quarter-final stage.

The Paris club outdid Toulon again, consigning them to a third defeat of the season thanks in no small part to Imhoff at the end of a week in which France scrum-half Machenaud signed a new contract to run until 2020.

Wasps and Toulon into quarter-finals

In other matches former Wallaby George Smith's Wasps sealed their last eight place with the English club recording a crushing 51-10 home victory over Irish side Leinster.