Western Province have dismissed reports linking Springbok lock Eben Etzebeth with a move to Top 14 giants Toulon.
According to a report in French newspaper Var Matin, Etzebeth is set to join Toulon after next year’s Rugby World Cup in England.
He is seen as the perfect replacement for veteran second-row Bakkies Botha, who recently retired from Test rugby and is set to finish his club career at the end of the current European season.
WP Rugby chief executive Rob Wagner said he wasn’t worried as Etzebeth is contracted to the Cape Town-based union until the end of the 2016 season.
“I’m not disturbed by such rumours,” Wagner told Die Burger newspaper.
However, it is not uncommon for players to get early releases from their contracts in the modern game.
Etzebeth would be the perfect replacement for Botha at Toulon, who are the French and European champions. The 23-year-old has played 33 Tests for the South Africa since making his debut against England in Durban in 2012 and was nominated for the IRB’s World Player of the Year award in 2013.