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Top 14
Toulon turn down emergency prop Van der Linde
ESPN Staff
August 1, 2014
Toulon coaches were unimpressed with CJ van der Linde's fitness © Getty Images

CJ van der Linde's hopes of playing in the Top 14 next season appear to have fallen through after the World Cup winner failed to impress during a trial spell with Toulon.

Prop Van der Linde, who lifted the Webb Ellis Cup with South Africa in 2007, had been tipped as an emergency replacement for the injured Martin Castrogiovanni. But according to a report in France Midi Olympique, Toulon staff thought the South African's fitness was not up to scratch and have decided to release him.

Earlier this year, Van der Linde was brought in to much fanfare by the Eastern Province Kings ahead of their domestic Currie Cup campaign. Van der Linde then hoped to be able to make the move to France after the provincial tournament in South Africa.

Instead, former Pau tighthead Karim Bougherara, 25, is set to join Toulon to reinforce their weakened front row.

Castrogiovanni underwent surgery on an adductor problem earlier this summer and faces four months out as he steps up his recovery, while his initial replacement Simone Ferrari pulled out of his deal with the club to return to Italy.

On the other side of the scrum, Toulon look set to be without the loosehead Andrew Sheridan after he agreed a release from his contract. The former England international is expected to retire after a series of neck injuries interrupted his involvement in much of last season.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd

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