Etze­beth to join Toulon after WC

Weekend Witness - - Sport -

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.

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