World Cup winning South Africa international Cheslin Kolbe has made a switch from Top 14 club Toulouse to rivals Toulon ahead of the 2021/22 season.
Kolbe was associated with Toulouse since 2017 and was part of the squad that went on to win two Top 14 titles and a Champions Cup title with the French club. Prior to joining Toulouse, Kolbe was part of Western Province in 2012 and went on to make his Super Rugby debut for Stormers in 2013.
The 27-year-old also represented South Africa Under 20 side in the 2013 Junior World Championship and went on to win the Bronze medal with the South Africa 7s side in the 2016 Rio Olympics. He was also instrumental in the Springboks winning the 2019 World Cup when they defeated England in the final.
“The time has come for me to say Au Revoir to one of the greatest chapters of all time,” he told in a post published on his social media account.
“I don’t know where to start, because I never expected the end to come so soon. I hope you understand my decision to move on to Toulon was not easy. I want to express the greatest gratitude to the entire Toulouse community.
“I will forever be grateful for everything I have learned and experienced with Stade Toulousain, the lessons learnt and the memories made stretch far beyond the rugby field.”
According to reports, it is understood that Toulon played 1.8 million Euros to release Kolbe from the final two years of his contract with the South African winger expected to earn around 1 million Euros in his new contract.
“I would like to thank Stade Toulousain for the opportunity to be a part of their legacy and making history. Thank you for your impact on my career and your role in shaping me into the player and person I am today.
“Thank you for believing in me and giving me the freedom and joy to play at my best. I have made so many special and incredible memories, friends and ultimately friends that became family. The ST brotherhood I will forever cherish. I love you my brothers and I will miss you the most!
“Most importantly, I want to thank each and every player, staff member, our bus driver, management, coaches, the commercial partners and the President for everything you have done for me and my family and for welcoming us with open arms in 2017. We truly appreciate all your support and help, those being a phone call away, always willing to help us with our life in France. Merci. MERCI BEAUCOUP! This is not a goodbye, it’s a bientot.”