Eben Etzebeth's move to Toulon might be in jeopardy. Photo: Andrew Boyers/Reuters

TOULON – Western Province are not taking the news that Springbok lock Eben Etzebeth is reportedly joining French club Toulon on a two-year deal after the 2019 World Cup lying down.

On Thursday, Toulon club president Mourad Boudjellal said the 27-year-old Stormers star had finalised an agreement earlier in the week.

The controversial deal is similar to the situation when Franco Mostert moved from the Lions to Gloucester earlier this year, which resulted in a contractual dispute.

WP are determined not to give in too easily, as explained by the union’s CEO Paul Zacks: "Obviously he (Straeuli, Lions CEO) had his own issue with Franco (Mostert).

“We are going to be writing a letter to SA Rugby because at the end of the day it's a tripartite agreement and SA Rugby and Western Province are parties as well as the player to that contract.

"The fact is that there are contractual commitments in place with the individuals. I'm not sure it's the player's fault, to be honest. I suppose the disappointing part is that protocol wasn't followed.

"In terms of the Springboks and a lot of the players going forward I think we all know that there is always a lot of movement of players post a World Cup to greener pastures, so to speak.

"That is not unexpected, I think it's just the way we manage the communication is key, following protocol and having respect for the parties."  

African News Agency (ANA)