Kelleher settling in at Toulouse

New Zealand scrum-half Byron Kelleher says playing for Toulouse in the Top 14 French championship is just like playing for the All Blacks.

The 30-year-old made his debut for Toulouse in the 15-10 win over Dax last Saturday and Kelleher said that while they had not shown their best form against the newly-promoted side, their style was still emblematic of the All Blacks.

“The way of playing here is like that of the All Blacks,” said Kelleher.

“It is the same terms, the same desire to keep the ball alive or to try and run with the ball and open it up to the backs.

“Unfortunately, we did not show that against Dax but it was a special type of match where we only had three days to prepare for it. In those conditions, I think the coach was pleased that we just simply won.”

Kelleher, who is one of several southern hemisphere stars to have signed for French clubs including World Cup winning Springbok captain John Smit and lock Victor Matfield, said there should be no problem with him playing at scrum-half and France number nine Jean-Baptiste Elissalde playing at fly-half.

As for his future with the All Blacks, the 60-capped Kelleher did not discount trying to at last grasp the Webb Ellis Cup in New Zealand in 2011.

“These days, a lot of players are still playing international rugby aged 34 and I am only 30, therefore I count myself as a young All Black,” he said.


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