South Africa star utility back and 2019 Rugby World Cup winner Cheslin Kolbe has decided to play for Tokyo Sungoliath from the 2023-2024 League One season, the club said Thursday.
The announcement comes after days of wild speculation about Kolbe’s next destination, which was initially rumoured to be a return to Western Province and the Stormers.
But on Wednesday, WP Rugby released an official statement confirming that while there had been interest to lure Kolbe back to the Cape, that no formal offer had been made to the 29-year-old or his representatives to join the inaugural URC champions.
Kolbe is scheduled to join Sungoliath after the World Cup in France, which is scheduled to be held in September and October.
“I’m so excited to confirm I will be joining Tokyo Suntory Sungoliath in the Japan Rugby League One competition after this year’s World Cup,” he said in a statement.
“This is going to be a new chapter and challenge in my career, and I’d like to thank everyone who made the move possible.
“Suntory is a team with an impressive history, and I am looking forward to making new memories with the team over the seasons ahead. To the fans, I hope to put in some performance that you can all enjoy. See you soon,” Kolbe added.