‘Nothing signed yet’, but Bok star Cheslin Kolbe in talks to join French giants Toulon
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CAPE TOWN – He has already conquered the world with the Springboks and Europe with Toulouse, and now Cheslin Kolbe is weighing up whether to seek a fresh challenge.
French rugby media reported on Tuesday that the World Cup winner could join Toulon later this year, despite still having two years left of his contract with current club Toulouse.
Independent Media understands that Kolbe’s representatives, Roc Nation Sports, are in negotiations with Toulon, who also boast another world-class Springbok in Eben Etzebeth on their books.
A number of other Boks have previously turned out for the club, including Victor Matfield, Juan Smith, Bakkies Botha, Bryan Habana and Joe van Niekerk.
It is believed that talks are still ongoing between Kolbe, Toulouse and Toulon, with nothing having been agreed to or signed at this stage.
But it would be a major coup for Toulon to recruit Kolbe, who is arguably the best pound-for-pound rugby player in the world right now.
His profile sky-rocketed after scoring a thrilling try in the Rugby World Cup final victory against England in 2019, and he continued his irresistible form for Toulouse last season, helping them to the French Top 14 title and the European Champions Cup crown.
A move to Toulon, though, would be a well deserved move for Kolbe, as he is sure to receive a top-dollar contract that should make him one of the highest-paid players in the world, alongside Bok teammate Handre Pollard of Montpellier.
AFP reported on Wednesday that Toulon president Bernard Lemaitre did not want to say too much about a possible Kolbe signing, while Toulouse did not want to comment “at this stage”.
“The two clubs are holding discussions about the feasibility of such a deal,” Lemaitre told AFP. “It’s nothing further than that at this point.
“It’s an opportunity that has presented itself, which could have advantages and disadvantages for both clubs. That’s why we’re evaluating all that.”
The 27-year-old Kolbe is currently in camp with the Springboks in Gqeberha before they fly to Australia on Thursday for the remainder of the Rugby Championship tournament, where they will play four Test matches in total against the Wallabies and All Blacks.
The last Bok game on the trip is on October 2 against New Zealand on the Gold Coast, so Kolbe can only rejoin Toulouse after that.