Bok star Kolbe to quit France for Japan move?

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Cheslin Kolbe. (Photo by Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images)
Cheslin Kolbe. (Photo by Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images)

Springbok utility back Cheslin Kolbe could reportedly leave French giants Toulon to take up a lucrative deal in Japan before the start of the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

The 29-year-old is currently contracted to Toulon until 2024, but according to respected French rugby publication Midi Olympique, Kolbe will instead head to Japan in July next year.

According to the report, Kolbe's contract with Toulon has an exit clause at the end of the current season (2022/23).

Kolbe joined Toulon from rivals Toulouse in 2021. He moved to France from the Stormers in 2017.

In August this year, Kolbe was linked with a move to the Sharks in South Africa after the 2023 World Cup. It followed reports that he turned down an offer to return to the Stormers.

However, Japan now appears Kolbe's likely next destination.

The Midi Olympique report stated: "According to our information, the Springboks player, whose current contract until 2024 includes an exit clause in June 2023, should indeed leave the Var (Toulon) at the end of the current season. According to the latest news, the fullback or winger is leaving for Japan where a League One franchise would be able to afford his services.

"At the same time, the release of the 2019 world champion, whose payments are among the highest in the Top 14, will allow Toulon to have greater leeway with regard to the salary cap. This will give them more means to densify less filled positions."

Kolbe arrived back in the Toulon camp this week with a hamstring injury he picked up playing for the Springboks against Italy in Genoa. He is likely to be sidelined for four weeks.

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