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Coaching future looms for Hayman

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Lynn McConnell     07 Apr 2015     Getty Images

The 45–Test All Black who has played his rugby in Europe since the 2007 World Cup campaign, is captaining French side Toulon this season. It is understood it will be his last season playing the game.

Hayman, 35, is completing coaching courses in France and is expected to start a coaching career in Europe.

However, he told PA Sports, that he wouldn't burn his boots at the end of Toulon's season just in case the All Blacks suffered a front-row injury crisis at this year's Rugby World Cup in England.

Toulon are attempting to win a third European title and have reached the Champions Cup semi-finals after a 32-18 win over Wasps at the weekend. They will play Leinster, at Marseille, on April 19 in the semi-finals.

Another former All Black lock Ali Williams scored a vital try late in the game to ensure the win.

Toulon went into this season as the winner of the last two Heineken Cups and are seeking the honour of first Champions Cup winners.

However, Hayman said there was still a lot of work for his star-studded side to do to claim the title.

The side has lacked the direction it achieved in recent seasons after former England first five-eighths Jonny Wilkinson retired last year.

Former Australian back Matt Giteau was seen as his natural successor but he has had injury issues during the season and only returned off the bench at the weekend.

Former French international Frederic Michalak had stepped up to the role but lacked the authority the side needed.

"It's great to have Matt Giteau coming back. Having guys of that experience to come back into the 10-12 area is going to be invaluable," he said.

"Michalak played well but you can't under-estimate what a difference it makes to have another guy in there to organise the team and give us another voice on the field.

"Having him back especially is going to make a big difference for us," Hayman said.

If Hayman is to match the farewell Wilkinson enjoyed the side will need to eliminate the small errors that marred the win over Wasps.

"There's a fair bit of work in front of us before we start thinking too much about any of that," he said.