Eben Etzebeth

Eben Etzebeth at a press conference (Photo by Lionel BONAVENTURE / AFP)

Etzebeth’s pending move to Toulon leaves WP unhappy

Western Province will seek SA Rugby’s assistance, after the announcement of Bok lock Eben Etzebeth’s move to Toulon next year.

Eben Etzebeth

Eben Etzebeth at a press conference (Photo by Lionel BONAVENTURE / AFP)

A potential tug of war is brewing between Western Province (WP) and Toulon, following the announcement of a big-money move to the French outfit for Springbok lock Eben Etzebeth.

The Top 14 side announced on Friday that the big second rower would be joining them soon after next year’s Rugby World Cup, along with All Blacks wing Nehe Milner-Skudder.

Reports coming from France suggest that the 27-year-old will be earning north of R17 million a year in France, and is said to have met with representatives from Toulon without the involvement of WP and SA Rugby, who he is contracted to until the end of 2019.

WP seek SA Rugby’s assistance in Etzebeth matter

This has left the Cape Town-based union fuming, with CEO Paul Zacks revealing to reporters that he would be approaching SA Rugby for assistance on how to deal with the matter.

“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,” he said.

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

He added;

“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.”

This comes right in the midst of similar controversy involving Etebeth’s lock partner at the Springboks, Franco Mostert, whose move to English Premiership side Gloucester has also not been met with enthusiasm by the Golden Lions.

Despite the ongoing contractual dispute, Mostert has been involved in Gloucester’s campaign this season and is set to make his run-on debut for the club against Exeter on Friday night.