Kolbe's Toulon Top 14 debut in doubt after teammate's hospitilisation
NEWS: Toulon head coach Franck Azema said on Friday an unnamed squad member has been hospitalised after contracting coronavirus, two days before South African star Cheslin Kolbe’s league debut for the club.
Kolbe, 28, joined the three-time European champions in September and featured in the Challenge Cup last month for the first time after recovering from a knee injury.
The 2019 World Cup winner has had to wait for his Top 14 bow for Toulon due to matches being postponed after they registered Covid-19 cases.
They had 25 cases alone in their squad this week, and Azema wants this Sunday’s game with La Rochelle to also be re-scheduled.
“We had a lad who was hospitalised this morning because he had cardiac problems,” Azema told reporters without disclosing the player’s name.
“He didn’t collapse but he’s having difficulties and it’s not trivial. It has an impact, so we can’t take risks with these things,” he added.
According to RMC Sport, the player in question is an 18-year-old who had returned to training after contracting the illness.
Azema’s side have not trained together for 10 days and the former Clermont coach has just four fit front-rowers, two short of the necessary six for a matchday squad.
“I find it hard to play an 18-year-old kid, and him have an accident during the game, and to tell myself it’s so to avoid having an extra date in the schedule,” he added.
The other game in the Top 14 on Sunday is also in doubt as Montpellier have recorded cases of Covid-19 before heading to champions Toulouse.