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Leicester’s interest in Springbok star rivalled by £900,000 offer from France

By Neil Fissler

Leicester Tigers have enquired about the post-World Cup availability of Springbok lock Eben Etzebeth.

The 26-year-old, rated as one of the best players in the world, is out of contract next year and had been linked with a money-spinning move to Toulon.

It has been reported that he has been offered around £900,000 a season to switch to the Côte d’Azur although our sources have poured cold water on those figures.

Blindside has been told, however, that the Tigers are willing to spend big on a marquee player and have sounded him out about his future plans.

Etzebeth recently returned to action after a nine-month lay-off with a nerve injury suffered against Wales last winter that affected his neck and shoulder.

But he is playing his cards close to his chest and is taking his time to carefully think over his future career plans.

“I love South Africa and being in Cape Town with my family‚ and I am also enjoying my rugby there,” he said.

“It is difficult to say when I will be moving overseas.”

Etzebeth, who joined the Stormers six years ago, has already had a spell playing overseas, spending a season in Japan’s Top League with the Red Hurricanes.

He has won 73 Test caps and we understand he is keen to face the British Lions when they tour South Africa in 2021.

Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus is already going to great lengths to remind his highly rated stars that the Lions tour is just around the corner.

It does remain to be seen, however, if they will turn down the huge riches that are on offer to move abroad to stay at home for a Lions tour.

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