Cheslin Kolbe: Springbok star opts against Stormers return – report

Dylan Coetzee

2CMN9MG Super Rugby - Sunwolves v Stormers - National Stadium, Singapore 14/05/16 Sunwolves' Akihito Yamada and Stormers' Cheslin Kolbe in action. REUTERS/Edgar Su

Superstar Springbok Cheslin Kolbe has reportedly turned down a lucrative five-year deal with the Stormers due to safety and security concerns in Cape Town.

As reported by Netwerk24, Kolbe was offered a contract worth R11 million (£546,000) per year for five years with several benefits, including allowing the speedster to stay at Toulon until January 2023 to allow the family to claim their French citizenship.

No return home

The global star is no stranger to the Cape Town side, having grown up in the city and represented the Stormers and Western Province for five years, accumulating over 100 appearances across the two teams.

Kolbe‘s return to South Africa would have been a significant moment as domestic teams in the country have lost a great deal of talent to Europe and the United Kingdom.

However, since the South African teams joined the United Rugby Championship, their stocks in the global game have risen, and there has been a return of talent with the likes of Eben Etzebeth returning to the Sharks.

Although Kolbe declined to join the Stormers, it is positive that a team previously on the brink of financial turmoil could offer one of the world’s most popular players a competitive contract, underlining the value of the move to the URC.

The Stormers added yet another recruit this week with the signing of second-row Gary Porter from Ealing Trailfinders. The 26-year-old spent one season at the English side and returns to South Africa, where he previously represented the University of Cape Town.

Further recruitment

Coach John Dobson has been adding to his squad as the Cape Town side prepares to compete in the Champions Cup alongside the URC for the first time. The tactician was delighted with his new signing and looks forward to seeing the hard-working second-row in action.

“Gary and his high work-rate fit the type of game we would like to play and we are looking forward to seeing him grow in our environment as we take on a very tough season,” Dobson told the Stormers’ official website.

Meanwhile, Porter is looking forward to working with the URC champions on their title defence.

“These are exciting times here and I want to contribute wherever I can within this system and grow as a player,” he said.

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