Force marquee man Smith bound for Toulon - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Force marquee man Smith bound for Toulon

Justin Chadwick 11/05/2011 02:44:37 PM Comments (0)

Western Force winger David Smith will leave the Perth-based franchise at the end of the Super Rugby season to link up with French side Toulon.

New Zealander Smith, who played seven games for the Blues and 34 for the Hurricanes before moving to Perth, has signed a two-year deal with Toulon.

The 24-year-old has been a solid contributor for the Force this season, scoring two tries in the round-nine win over the Brumbies and creating numerous opportunities for his teammates.

Force coach Richard Graham said he understood the Samoan-born winger's reason for signing with Toulon.

"As our marquee player, David was only able to sign for one year at a time and he was upfront with us that there was a longer-term opportunity for him in Toulon," Graham said.

"David has been absolutely fantastic.

"He is a quality person and someone who has enthusiastically contributed to the club this season.

"We're genuinely disappointed that he is leaving but certainly thank him for his efforts."

Although the Force were unable to hold on to Smith, the club is hopeful star back James O'Connor will remain in Perth.

O'Connor, who is being heavily chased by the Brumbies, Queensland Reds and Melbourne Rebels, is expected to make his decision known this week, ending months of speculation.

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