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Etzebeth checks in at Toulon

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Eben Etzebeth checks in for work at Toulon

Toulon’s crop of summer signings are slowly making their way to the south of France, with the club revealing on Thursday the arrival of World Cup winner Eben Etzebeth. 

The three-time European champions shared a video on social media of the giant lock being met by president Mourad Boudjellal at the airport.

Although the 28-year-old’s arrival was not met by fanfare, he will be pivotal in reviving the club’s fortunes. 

Etzebeth was one of Toulon’s big signings in the summer alongside the likes of Baptiste Serin and Sergio Parisse.

They have been given the responsibility of helping the club return to the top table of European rugby after languishing over the past few years. 

They sit in fifth in the Top 14, but the South African will add yet more grit to an already powerful Toulon pack as they hope to surge up the table. 

After South Africa lifted the Webb Ellis Cup at the beginning of November, many of the players were given extended breaks and have only just started arriving at their clubs. 

Last week also saw Frans Steyn and Handre Pollard arrive at Montpellier, and while that may have been longer than some clubs would have expected, they at least know the players will be arriving in good form and fairly well-rested.  

In a pack that already has Romain Taofifenua, Mamuka Gorgodze, Facundo Isa, Charles Ollivon and Liam Messam, the inclusion of the 85-cap Springbok helps to complete one of the most impressive ensembles in Europe, a line-up redolent of the side that dominated rugby only a few years ago. 

The backs are no different and could yet be boosted by the arrival of 2015 RWC winner Nehe Milner-Skudder, although injury has put his move gravely in jeopardy. 

Although they are not in the Champions Cup this season, Toulon still have much to play for in the Top 14 and the Challenge Cup. and everyone on the Cote d’Azur will be anticipating Etzebeth’s debut. 

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Eben Etzebeth checks in for work at Toulon