Super Rugby

WP fume at Toulon after Etzebeth dealings

Eben Etzebeth (Gallo)
Eben Etzebeth (Gallo)

Cape Town - Western Province and the Stormers are unhappy with French giants Toulon and their dealings with Eben Etzebeth over a move to the club after the 2019 Rugby World Cup. 

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Speaking to media at Newlands on Friday, WP CEO Paul Zacks confirmed that the union would be writing a letter to SA Rugby to ask for assistance in dealing with the matter. 

Reports out of France on Friday stated Etzebeth had accepted a big-money deal to join Toulon after his contract with SA Rugby and WP concludes at the end of 2019.

But in a situation that strongly resembles that of Franco Mostert's move from the Lions to Gloucester this year, WP are not going down without a fight. 

Zacks confirmed that he had received a phone call from Lions CEO Rudolf Straeuli on Friday. 

Zacks added that WP had heard the news via media reports. 

"Obviously he (Straeuli) had his own issue with Franco (Mostert). We are going to be writing a letter to SA Rugby because at the end of the day it's a tripartite agreement and SA Rugby and Western Province are parties as well as the player to that contract," Zacks said.

"The fact is that there are contractual commitments in place with the individuals."

Zacks stopped short of expressing disappointment in Etzebeth. 

"I'm not sure it's the player's fault, to be honest," he said.

"I suppose the disappointing part is that protocol wasn't followed.

"In terms of the Springboks and a lot of the players going forward I think we all know that there is always a lot of movement of players post a World Cup to greener pastures, so to speak.

"That is not unexpected, I think it's just the way we manage the communication is key and following protocol and having respect for the parties."

Mostert, meanwhile, will make his first start for Gloucester on Friday night in a Champions Cup clash against Exeter.

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