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Toomua loving early days at Leicester

Press AssociationPress Association 21/10/2016 Duncan Bech

Matt Toomua admits the appeal of immersing himself in the history of Leicester could lead to an long spell at the English club.

The respected Australia playmaker continues the recent trend of southern hemisphere players migrating to the Premiership while still in their prime having agreed a three-year contract with the Tigers.

Moving to Welford Road has cast the 26-year-old into international exile as his total of 33 caps falls well short of the 60 needed to be eligible for Wallabies selection if based overseas.

A spear tackle that was punished by a yellow card in last Friday's rout by Glasgow may have launched his Leicester career in inauspicious fashion, but Toomua is determined to weave himself into the fabric of the club.

"I wanted to come here with both feet in one camp," said Toomua, who starts Sunday's Champions Cup match against Racing Metro.

"I didn't want to come here thinking: 'If this doesn't work out I'll go home'. I haven't made any promises to anyone back home that I will be coming back.

"I want to give this a real good crack. If I love it here I might stay for ages. If I feel the need to go back home, I will."

Toomua is loving being at a club with a long history as opposed to the 20-year-old Canberra-based Brumbies.

"I enjoy the fact that this club has been here since 1880 and all the history around it. I find that a challenge in itself," said Toomua.

"You go to the club and you see Leicester Tigers guys who passed away in the First World War. That's pretty amazing in terms of the history.

"I come from the Brumbies who were established in 1996 and that is a little bit different."

Toomua was pounced upon by incensed Warriors players after his tip-tackle on fly-half Fin Russell and he feared the worst when the incident replayed on the big screen at Scotstoun Stadium knowing a red card was possible.

"When I did it I didn't think it was that bad, but then I saw it and I thought I could be in some trouble. I was embarrassed about it, it's not something I'm proud of," Toomua said.

"I said sorry many times after the game and during the game. It's not something I'm proud of or condone. It wasn't my brightest moment, but it happens."

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