Sat 8 Jan 2022 | 01:12

Toulon president's honest admission about Bok Etzebeth

Toulon president's honest admission about Bok Etzebeth
Sat 8 Jan 2022 | 01:12
Toulon president's honest admission about Bok Etzebeth
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SPOTLIGHT: Toulon president Bernard Lemaître has labelled Springbok lock Eben Etzebeth as a ‘handicap’ due to the lock being expensive and often unavailable through injury and international commitments.

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In an interview with the newspaper Var-matin, Lemaître addressed Toulon’s issues regarding player recruitment ahead of the 2022/2023 season and took aim at Etzebeth and Argentina back-row Facundo Isa.

The Springbok has been plying his trade at Toulon since 2019 and according to Lemaître’s interview, the President is still waiting for a return on his investment.

The President evens demanded that World Rugby implement a law that “prevents foreign countries from coming to the Top 14 supermarket to take the players they need for their selection” or that national unions at least pay compensation to have their Test players released.

“There is a double problem in recruiting: the salary cap and the JIFFs (French-reared players),” Lemaître said.

“You can’t do just anything, so I pay special attention to the situation of internationals because they can be an opportunity or a handicap.

“In this case, players like Eben Etzebeth and Facundo Isa are a clear handicap for the club.

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“The policy of the XV of France is very clear and we know that some players like Gros or Villière will be called up regularly.

“While for foreigners it is different. I spoke with Bernard Laporte who agrees with me: the League should work with World Rugby to prevent foreign countries from coming to the Top 14 supermarket to take the players they need for their selection.

“Or, if they do, there should be some compensation. These players get paid, cost the club full, and are used by someone else. This, even at the level of labour law, does not exist.

“There is a problem to be resolved.”

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Etzebeth has been sidelined since November due to a concussion protocol.

The 30-year-old suffered his third concussion in a year during South Africa’s 26-27 loss to England in their year-end international at Twickenham in November.

The veteran second row forward, capped 97 times by the Boks, is expected to return to action at the end of February.

Source: PlanetRugby &  Var-matin

 

 

 

 

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