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Cheslin Kolbe transfer sparks sanctions for Top 14 heavyweights

By Grant Constable
South Africa's wing, Cheslin Kolbe, takes part in a training session during the France 2023 Rugby World Cup at Mayol Stadium, in Toulon, southern France, on September 14, 2023. (Photo by CLEMENT MAHOUDEAU / AFP) (Photo by CLEMENT MAHOUDEAU/AFP via Getty Images)

Both Toulon and Toulouse find themselves in the midst of disciplinary actions for salary cap breaches associated with the high-profile transfer of Springbok star Cheslin Kolbe in 2021.


As per reports from various French media outlets, both Toulouse and Toulon face financial penalties subsequent to a October 9 hearing, which specifically delved into the intricacies of Kolbe’s transfer between the two clubs.

The double world cup winner penned a lucrative deal with Toulon in August 2021, marking a significant move from five-time European champions Toulouse.

At the time of the transfer, he still had two years remaining on his contract. The reported contract buyout fee amounted to €1.8 million (ZAR 36.9 million).


In-depth investigations by the disciplinary committee, specialising in salary cap matters within French rugby, revealed breaches in the transfer dealings of both clubs.

Consequently, both Toulouse and Toulon were deemed guilty of violating the regulations.

Toulouse now faces a financial penalty of €50,000 (ZAR 1 million) for “failure to comply with the general obligation of transparency and cooperation“, while Toulon has been slapped with a €70,000 (ZAR 1.4 million) fine.

Both clubs are afforded a seven-day window to exercise their right to appeal the sanctions.


The penalties underscore the league’s commitment to upholding transparency and fairness in player transfers, setting a precedent for other clubs within the Top 14.

After winning the world cup with the Springboks in Paris, Kolbe has since moved to Japan to play for Suntory Sungoliath alongside the likes of New Zealand captain, Sam Cane.

Their side won 34-16 against Mie Honda Heat in round three of the Japan Rugby League One this past weekend, placing them third on the overall table.




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