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Page last updated at 17:30 GMT, Thursday, 18 February 2010

England winger Paul Sackey to leave Wasps for Toulon

Wasps wing Paul Sackey
Sackey won the last of his 22 England caps against Ireland in 2009

England winger Paul Sackey will join Jonny Wilkinson at French side Toulon when he leaves Wasps in the summer.

Sackey, who has made over 100 appearances for Wasps and helped them win two Premiership titles, confirmed last week that he was leaving the club.

The 30-year-old will join Wilkinson, Tom May, Joe El-Abd and new-signing Dean Schofield at big-spending Toulon, who are sixth in the Top 14 table.

His move continues the exodus of English players moving to France.

Former Wasps team-mates James Haskell, Tom Palmer and Riki Flutey left the club to move to France last summer.

Flanker Haskell and lock Palmer moved to Stade Francais in Paris, while centre Flutey joined Brive.

Former Northampton hooker Steve Thompson also plays for Brive while Magnus Lund, Ayoola Erinle and Iain Balshaw are with Biarritz.

Toulon also have the likes of Felipe Contepomi, Rory Lamont and Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe in their ranks.

Last week Sackey told the Wasps website: "This was the hardest decision I've had to make because my heart is at Wasps.


"I've spent some great years here, but I feel the opportunities put in front of me were just too good to ignore."

Sackey, England's top try scorer at the 2007 World Cup, started his career in the Wasps Academy and returned to the club in 2005 following a spell with London Irish.

Wasps director of rugby Tony Hanks added: "Paul leaving the club is obviously a disappointment.

"It has always been the Wasps way to see players depart on good terms, especially those who have served the club like Sacks, and we have no doubt that he is committed to the cause for the next four months.

"In terms of his departure, he has received offers from France that we simply cannot compete with. This is a situation that currently exists in professional club rugby.

"It is disappointing to lose a player of Paul's ability and standing within the team, but considering his own career ambitions to play for only two or three more seasons then it is hard to argue with his decision. He is securing his financial future."

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see also
Carling questions Cipriani desire
12 Feb 10 |  English
Sackey set to miss season start
02 Aug 09 |  London Wasps
Sackey hopeful of England revival
16 Feb 09 |  English
Winger Sackey extends Wasps deal
01 Mar 07 |  London Wasps
Wilkinson extends Toulon contract
28 Jan 10 |  Rugby Union
Wilkinson agrees to join Toulon
19 May 09 |  Rugby Union

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