Kockott’s move from Castres to Toulon is off

Castres’ South African scrumhalf Rory Kockott has denied that he has signed a contract with Heineken Cup champions Toulon.

Kockott’s agent Bruno Xamma told AFP on his behalf that rumours in the French press about a move to Toulon are not true.

Kockott’s contract with French Top 14 champions Castres runs out in June and there has long been speculation he is set to move to one of the country’s more traditional rugby giants.

A story in Monday’s L’Equipe newspaper claimed he had signed a three-year contract with Toulon, but his agent Xamma says they are not true.

“Kockott has not signed anything with any club. First we’ll meet with Castres, then the player will decide (on his future) in November,” Xamma told AFP.

Last season Kockott made no secret of his desire to quit Castres a year before his contract was up to join Toulouse, who were then the French champions.

But Castres’ surprise toppling of Toulon in June’s Top 14 final brought about a change of heart for the talented No.9.

Although big-spending Racing Metro are also rumoured to be interested in acquiring his services, Castres believe they can still convince him to stay.

“We’re still in discussions with him and we retain the hope that he will stay with us,” Castres manager Matthias Rolland told AFP.

“We know he’s in contact with other clubs and that’s not new. Rory is a straight up guy. Nothing has been done, otherwise he’d have had the courtesy to inform us.”

The 27-year-old joined Castres as a medical joker from Natal Sharks in 2011, having begun his career at Golden Lions in his homeland.

An expert kicker, he finished top of the scoring charts last season with 276 points, three more than England and Toulon legend Jonny Wilkinson.

In the Top 14 final, he scored Castres’ try just before halftime that swung the game decisively in their favour as they ran out 19-14 winners.

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