Etzebeth to join Toulon after WC
EBEN Etzebeth’s deal with French club Toulon was finalised on the Springboks’ recent year-end tour to Europe.
It was confirmed on Thursday night that the burly lock had signed a two-year deal to join Toulon after next year’s Rugby World Cup in Japan.
Rumours of Etzebeth joining the Top 14 giants have been doing the rounds for some time, and according to French publication Rugby Rama, Toulon’s president Mourad Boudjellal met with Etzebeth in the week leading up to the Springboks’ Test against France in Paris last month. The report added that Boudjellal and Etzebeth met secretly in a room of the same hotel the Springboks had stayed in.
French publication Minute Sports Rugby also reported that the 26year-old could earn in excess of €1 million (about R17 million) a year at Toulon.
Etzebeth’s contract with Western Province and the Stormers expires at the end of the 2019 season.
Meanwhile, loose forward Uzair Cassiem, who boasts eight Tests for the Springboks, says he still harbours hope of earning a recall to the national fold.
The 28-year-old played all his Tests during the tumultuous reign of Allister Coetzee and has been out of the Bok fold since Rassie Erasmus took over.
Cassiem has since moved to Welsh outfit Scarlets but told Netwerk24 that the desire to play for the Boks remains high.
Erasmus recently indicated that, for the moment, he has enough overseas-based players in his squad. “I understand that and I can see you have to make yourself indispensable for a coach like Rassie,” Cassiem said.
He added that it was a dream to play in the World Cup and backed the Boks to do well in next year’s tournament in Japan.
“The Springboks will no doubt be very well prepared to go a step further than in 2015 when the tournament was hosted in England and they were beaten in the semifinals by New Zealand.”
For the moment, Cassiem is focusing his attention to the Scarlets, who he joined from the Cheetahs earlier this year. — Sport24.