Toulon secondrow Eben Etzebeth failed to return to the field after sustaining a head injury playing for the French side in their Heineken Champions Cup victory over Sale Sharks.

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Toulon ran out 26 – 14 winners but the injury to the South African is worrying. Etzebeth landed awkwardly after being tackled from a restart in the 44th minute of the European fixture at Stade Mayol. His head collided with the head of Sale Sharks forward Jono Ross who was directly beneath him as he landed back down on to ground.

After being treated on the pitch, Etzebeth was helped off the field by medical staff and underwent a HIA, which he failed.

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Etzebeth throws an opponent like a rag doll:

It’s not his first concussion injury. In March 2019 he sidelined after failing a HIA following a collision in a match for the DHL Stormers against the Jaguares.

He’s a huge figure in South African rugby. The 29-year-old is the joint second-most capped lock, having surpassed Mark Andrews’ 75 Test matches and matching the caps of Bok legend Bakkie Botha on 85. Only Victor Matfield (127) has more caps than the former Stormer forward in the position.

In July the Capetown born forward extended his contract at Toulon, the Top 14 club he arrived at last November on a two-year deal following South Africa’s 2019 World Cup triumph in Japan.

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The 6’8, 123kg lock was one of Toulon’s big signings in 2019 alongside the likes of Baptiste Serin and Sergio Parisse and they have been given the responsibility of helping the club return to the top table after languishing the past few years.

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