REPORT: Stormers line up three Kolbe alternatives
TRANSFER TALK: Since the conclusion of the United Rugby Championship last month, the Stormers have been hard at work trying to boost their roster.
The first and most significant story that has been making the headlines is the transfer deal of Cheslin Kolbe.
The Springbok is currently on the market for a new club following his exit at Top 14 side Toulon.
Kolbe and Toulon reached a mutual agreement for an early release from his contract and the 29-year-old is now set to look for greener pastures due to “financial constraints” in France.
Last week, in an interview with Cape Talk, Stormers head coach John Dobson admitted his team is in no position to land the signature of Kolbe given they are still under administration and simply could not deliver the star’s financial expectations.
On Sunday the Afrikaans newspaper Rapport revealed that the Stormers, with the help of a third party, has put in a new offer.
The Rapport stated that the new offer is in the region of ZAR15 million, which was ZAR4 million more than they offered him last year – close to what Toulon were paying him.
However, it now appears that Kolbe has reportedly turned down the bid. According to reports he is eager to continue his career in Japan, at a reported salary of ZAR22 million, with Suntory Sungoliath the favourite to sign him.
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With Kolbe’s deal more than likely not to occur, the Stormers have identified La Rochelle’s Dillyn Leyds, Racing 92’s Warrick Gelant along with Lions’ wing Edwill van der Merwe as alternatives to boost their backline.
According to Rapport, the 28-year-old Springbok Gelant could join the Stormers as early as July from Racing 92.
Gelant was an integral part of the Stormers’ United Rugby Championship campaign in 2022 – scoring five tries in 18 appearances.
He had made 19 appearances for Racing 92 since joining them at the start of the season but has mostly been utilised as a substitute.
Leyds has been enjoying his time at La Rochelle since joining them in 2020. The wing was part of the La Rochelle team, who secured two consecutive Champions Cup titles.
Van Der Merwe has been stealing the show at the Lions – becoming one of the top try-scorers at the franchise.
In a recent interview with @rugby365com, the wing revealed he is happy at the Lions and has ‘been welcomed with open arms’ which he appreciates.
All three players previously played for the Stormers.
*Additional Source: Rapport