Kyle Eastmond: Leicester sign utility back but Matt Toomua to leave at the end of the season


Leicester Tigers have signed dual-code international Kyle Eastmond following his departure from Wasps.

The 29-year-old utility back spent two years at the Ricoh Arena but was restricted to 23 outings for Wasps because of injury.

He has won six international caps for England since switching codes in 2011.

Meanwhile, Australia centre Matt Toomua will leave the Tigers at the end of the season after agreeing a deal with Rugby Australia and Melbourne Rebels.

Mancunian Eastmond played rugby league for St Helens and the national side before switching to rugby union and joining Bath seven years ago.

He scored 16 tries in 72 top-flight appearances for the Somerset club and made his international debut against Argentina in June 2013.

“We have some very skilful and exciting players in our backline and Kyle will add to that quality,” Tigers head coach Matt O’Connor told the club website.

Toomua to depart Welford Road

Eastmond’s arrival has been tempered by news that Toomua is set for his final season with the Tigers as he bids to win a place in Australia’s squad for the World Cup next year.

The 28-year-old centre will feature for the Wallabies in the Rugby Championship this autumn, returning to Leicester during the rest periods – which coincide with rounds one and four of the new Premiership season – and then be available for the remainder of the English domestic campaign.

He will then join the Rebels for the 2019 Super Rugby season.

“It has been a tough couple of weeks and one of the hardest decisions I’ve had to make in my career,” he said.

“However, the opportunity to return home to my wife and family after almost three years apart and, potentially, play in another World Cup was too hard to ignore.

“I absolutely love the club, have become close friends with all of my team-mates and want to go out in a successful way.”

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