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'Absolutely disgusted': Savea's wife fires back at critics

Author
NZ Herald ,
Section
Sport,
Publish Date
Monday, 18 February 2019, 12:23p.m.
Julian Savea. Photo / Getty Images
Julian Savea. Photo / Getty Images

Julian Savea's wife, Fatima, has hit back at Toulon fans on social media following the former All Black's shock sacking by the French club.

Savea has been told he is "not welcome" at Toulon anymore following his latest effort in the club's 10th loss of the season - despite having a year left on his contract.

Toulon owner Mourad Boudjellal savaged Savea following the side's 19-10 Top 14 defeat to Agen last week.

"I'm going to ask for a DNA test. They must have swapped him on the plane [when he joined from the Hurricanes last year]. If I were him I would apologise and go back to my home country," Boudjellal told French radio RMC.

"I've told him that he was free to go and wasn't welcome at Toulon any more," he added.

Toulon fans have since taken to social media with abusive comments directed at Savea, labelling him a "fatman" with breasts bigger than his wife and saying they wished his mother got cancer.

Fatima has since hit back at the abusive fans, saying she was "absolutely disgusted by this s***" on Twitter.

"Take a minute to think about how your words can affect someone's life and their mental health," she tweeted.

"And people wonder why mental health in rugby had become a big problem. Take a minute to be considerate of people's feelings instead of bashing them behind a keyboard or phone screen.

"But that shouldn't give anyone the right to ridicule a player and their livelihood because no one knows what these players go through on a daily basis and the struggles they face."

It's not the first time Fatima has been forced to stand up for her husband during his troubled stay in France.

In December, Savea angered the club's fanbase by attending his brother's wedding in Fiji before Fatima set the record straight.

"Before Julian signed his contract he asked for time off in December to attend his ONLY brother's wedding," Fatima tweeted. "So this was agreed upon by both the club and Julian or else Julian would not have come to Toulon in September and instead in January."

According to French publication RMC Sport, Toulon owner Mourad Boudjellal made some explosive comments about Savea following the side's 19-10 Top 14 defeat to Agen last week.

"I'm going to ask for a DNA test. They must have swapped him on the plane [when he joined from the Hurricanes last year]. If I were him I would apologise and go back to my home country," Mourad Boudjellal told French radio RMC.

"I've told him that he was free to go and wasn't welcome at Toulon any more," he added.

Boudjellal has a history making controversial statements. In 2017 he praised Ali Williams' negotiation skills after he was caught buying cocaine in Paris while last year he defended Toulon centre Mathieu Bastareaud's use of a homophobic slur in a match because it had 'entered common language'.

The 28-year-old, who scored 46 tries in 54 tests for the All Blacks, signed a four-year deal with New Zealand Rugby in May 2015 that made him one of the highest paid players in New Zealand history, earning an estimated $800,000 a year.

However he was released from that deal last year following the Super Rugby season after agreeing to a two-year deal with Toulon.

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