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Hayman opts for french contract

Gettys Images

NZPA     23 Mar 2010     Gettys Images

Regarded as one of the world's premier tighthead props, Hayman, 30, had said earlier that he was torn over whether to remain with his English club Newcastle.

He joined Newcastle after the All Blacks' failed World Cup campaign in 2007.

The 45-test veteran's form for Newcastle had reportedly been of a consistently high standard, and the Taranaki Rugby Union and the Hurricanes franchise were vocal in their desire to lure the prop back home.

NZRU chief executive Steve Tew said today the union had also been keen to lure Hayman back, but he had opted instead for a multi-million dollar two-year deal at Toulon.

Tew said the NZRU had always lived within its means, RadioSport reported today.

"Player retention and getting guys back from Europe is important to us, but not at any cost."

Hayman told the New Zealand Herald his decision had been difficult, but his family's financial future had taken top priority despite the NZRU's late counter-bid.

"Newcastle and now Toulon are all about setting up a sound financial base for the future."