French club jeopardises Kolbe's Olympic dream

Toulouse have refused to release Cheslin Kolbe to play for the Blitzboks at the Los Angeles Sevens.

The tournament is set to take place on Saturday, 29 February and Sunday, 1 March. Toulouse will play an away match against Bayonne in the French Top 14 that weekend.

Kolbe had been hoping to add an Olympic gold medal to the World Cup winner's medal he got last year.

However, Blitzboks coach Neil Powell had told fifteens players who wanted to be eligible for Blitzboks' Olympic selection that they would have to play some part in this season's World Rugby Sevens Series.

'Unfortunately, we're not going to get Cheslin Kolbe [for the LA Sevens], so it makes it difficult to get him for the Olympic team,' Powell told Rapport newspaper.

Powell said Toulouse wouldn't budge even after meeting with SA Rugby director of rugby Rassie Erasmus.

The men's rugby sevens tournament at the Olympics will take place in Tokyo from 27-29 July.

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Photo: Mark R Cristino/EPA