Habana unlikely to join Toulon

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The Independent Online

South Africa winger Bryan Habana is unlikely to be joining fellow superstar Jonny Wilkinson at Toulon, according to the club's president Mourad Boudjellal.

Habana, who is approaching the end of his contract with the Super 14 side the Bulls, is currently on holiday in Toulon and met up with Boudjellal and Les Varois' director of rugby Philippe Saint-Andre yesterday.

The Springbok flyer recently declared an interest in moving to France to play in the Top 14, but he may be too expensive for big-spending Toulon.

"We haven't got a bottomless pit of money," Boudjellal told radio station RMC.

"There is nothing concrete. Interest is one thing, reality is another. He is a very expensive player.

"We will not go beyond our limits. With our salary mass, we don't figure among the richest clubs. Others have a lot more than us.

"We are anything but favourites (to sign Habana)."

Habana, the IRB player of the year in 2007, helped South Africa to a 2-1 series win over the British and Irish Lions.

After the series-clinching 28-25 victory in the second Test just less than a fortnight ago, he spoke of his desire to play in the Top 14.

"Bayonne, Toulouse and Stade Francais have approached me but I am giving myself two weeks to reflect," he is quoted as telling L'Equipe.

"Staying in South Africa is also tempting me. Whatever happens, I will not go to England or Wales because of the weather."

Wilkinson is the latest big-name signing for Toulon, who have also had Andrew Mehrtens, George Gregan, Jerry Collins and Sonny Bill Williams on their books over the past three seasons.