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Rival French club confirm 'contact' in signing Kolbe from Toulouse

By Liam Heagney

Trending on RugbyPass

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World Cup-winning Springboks winger Cheslin Kolbe could have played his last match for Toulouse as reports in France claim Top 14 rivals Toulon have made contact about signing the soon-to-be 28-year-old before the end of this year – even though he is under contract with the French champions until the end of the 2022/23 season.

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The recent Top 14/Champions Cup double winner is currently on international duty with South Africa and he isn’t due back in France until December as the Springboks fly out to Australia on Thursday to complete the Rugby Championship campaign before moving on to play in Europe in November where they will face Wales, Scotland and England on successive weekends.  

Kolbe finished up this month’s Test series versus the touring Lions in Cape Town as a third Test try-scorer despite the controversy surrounding his second Test yellow card which critics believed should have been red after he collided with the aerial Conor Murray. 

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Media reports in recent days suggested Toulon were interested in securing the services of Kolbe when his 2021 international commitments were over and Bernard Lemaitre, the president of the club, has now confirmed they are very much interested in bringing in the finisher who first arrived in France in 2017 and has since gone on to win two Top 14 titles and a European trophy.  

French newspaper L’Equipe have reported: “While several media have mentioned the transfer of Cheslin Kolbe from Toulouse to Toulon, Bernard Lemaitre has confirmed his interest in the South African winger on Wednesday. 

“Contacts have been established and Cheslin Kolbe could leave Toulouse to join the ranks of Toulon after the Rugby Championship.” Lemaitre added: “It may be that Toulouse and the RCT find an agreement, but we are not there yet. I cannot comment. I see the information passing like you. It seems premature to me. There are still too many shadows.”

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It is reported that this transfer would be targeted to happen midway through the 2021/22 season in France and not when Kolbe’s current deal with Toulouse runs out nearly two years from now. Toulon start their Top 14 campaign with a September 4 home game versus Montpellier while Toulouse will travel the following day to take on La Rochelle, the team they defeated in the 2020/21 league and European finals.

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TOP 14    

Rival French club confirm 'contact' in signing Kolbe from Toulouse

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