Toulouse sign McAlister, Burgess and Steenkamp
April 20, 2011
Luke McAlister has signed for Toulouse © Getty Images
European champions Toulouse have announced three major signings for next season, having secured the services of All Black playmaker Luke McAlister, Wallabies scrum-half Luke Burgess and Springbok prop Gurthro Steenkamp.
The trio have put pen to paper on three-year deals with the French giants and will make the move following the conclusion of the Rugby World Cup.
Blues midfielder McAlister, capped 30 times by New Zealand, will provide cover at fly-half and inside-centre and has been signed following the departure of David Skrela, who has agreed a move to Clermont Auvergne.
He will compete for the No.10 jersey with former France international Lionel Beauxis, who is on his way south from Stade Francais. McAlister proved his aptitude in the physically-dominated world of European rugby with a spell in England at Sale between 2007 and 2009.
The arrival of Burgess, from the Waratahs, appears to draw a line under reports linking Ospreys scrum-half Mike Phillips with a move to France as replacement for the Bayonne-bound Byron Kelleher. The 27-year-old has been capped 32 times by Australia.
Steenkamp heads north from the Bulls, having played a major role in the Pretoria side's Super 14 triumph last season. He was also arguably the Springboks' standout performer during the Tri-Nations before being sidelined with a broken arm.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
"Some people have it from day one and Brian did." Tom Hamilton talks to the two players who made their Ireland debuts alongside Brian O'Driscoll back in June 1999
Despite having lost all four of their 2014 Six Nations games, the future of Italian rugby is bright with the team showing a new youthful core, argues Enrico Borra
"The loudest cheer at a rugby game, away from social media gimmicks, pumping music and pyrotechnics will always be for a try." Tom Hamilton on the Twickenham atmosphere
"The only thing that will stop this England team from becoming a great team is themselves. They need to ask themselves 'what can we be?'" The Phil Vickery column