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Confirmed: Toulon complete deal for Springboks star Cheslin Kolbe

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

A week that spectacularly began with an unexpected Twitter rumour from the UK about the club future of Cheslin Kolbe dramatically ended on Friday morning with confirmation from Toulon that the coveted Springboks winger has signed for them from French rivals Toulouse. 


It was Thursday when Toulon president Bernard Lemaitre hinted that he was willing to pay the soon-to-be 28-year-old South African an annual salary of €1million once they had agreed a €1.8million buy out of the remainder of Kolbe’s contract at the recent league/Champions Cup double winners.

The Springboks finisher was contracted with Toulouse until 2023 and having flown to Australia on Thursday from Cape Town with his national team’s squad for their four remaining Rugby Championship fixtures, the speedy finalisation of a deal taking him to Toulon wasn’t expected to be so quickly rubber stamped. 

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However, Toulon exceeded all expectations and Kolbe was officially unveiled as their player on Friday. Delighted to switch from Toulouse, with whom he had played since 2017, Kolbe told the Toulon club website: “Today, my family and I are very happy to join Rugby Club Toulonnais and its entire community. This is a new chapter in my career that I approach with a lot of passion and commitment. 

“I look forward to making my contribution to helping my new teammates win trophies, building on the incredible history and tradition of this iconic club. I would also like to thank Stade Toulousain, my former teammates and supporters for all their support over the past four seasons. It has been a wonderful experience.”

Lemaitre was delighted with his spectacular piece of business, claiming: “The RCT is entering a new phase of its transformation undertaken in January 2020. After a major rescue, the club has carried out a renovation of its organisation and its managerial methods.

“At the same time, we built the RCT Campus, providing the club with unique facilities for the benefit of both the professional workforce and the training centre. Then, the signing of the five-year contract with Nike, the world leader in sports equipment, crowned all these efforts for which I thank my teams.


“Finally, in terms of sport, we have just proceeded with quality recruitment and the significant strengthening of professional staff and the training centre but aware of the need to be competitive in decisive matches, I decided to take it one step further.

“I am therefore pleased to announce the signing of an exceptional player at the RCT: Cheslin Kolbe, World, European and French champion, starting in the 2021/2022 season. The arrival of Cheslin Kolbe is written in golden letters in the history of the RCT. All together, WE ARE TOULON.”


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