Cheslin Kolbe to finally make his debut in Toulon colours
NEWS: Springbok wing Cheslin Kolbe is set to make his Toulon debut on Friday, 112 days after it was confirmed he had agreed to a shock transfer from Toulouse.
It was August 27, with South Africa having flown out to Australia for the remainder of the Rugby Championship, that it emerged Kolbe had jumped at a money-spinning deal to dramatically swap clubs in France.
That August week had begun spectacularly with an unexpected Twitter rumour emerging from the UK about the club future of Kolbe and it ended that Friday morning with confirmation from Toulon that the coveted Springboks wing had signed for them.
It was only the day before when Toulon president Bernard Lemaitre hinted that he was willing to pay the South African an annual salary of €1million [ZAR18 million] once they had agreed a €1.8m [ZAR32.5 million] buy out of the remainder of the contract Kolbe had with Toulouse.
The Springboks finisher was contracted with Toulouse until 2023 and the finalisation of the deal taking him to Toulon wasn’t expected to be so quickly rubber-stamped, but it was and he will now make his debut in this Friday’s home Challenge Cup match versus Zebre Parma.
It’s a fixture in which Kolbe might understandably be a little rusty as he has not played a match since his start in the August 21 Test win over Argentina in Port Elizabeth.
A leg injury prevented him from appearing in any of the four Championship matches the Springboks played in Australia and it was decided after that to omit him from their squad for the November end-of-year tour.
That decision allowed Kolbe to complete his injury rehab at his new club and that hard work will now result in his eagerly awaited debut.
By Liam Heagney, @RugbyPass