Racing 92 are taking legal action against Johan Goosen after the player quit the French club to change career.
The South Africa international, 24, last month announced he was returning to his homeland to become a commercial director.
Racing now say they are launching proceedings and the player will have to “answer in court”.
Utility back Goosen was voted the Top 14’s player of the year last season after helping Racing to the title.
In a statement, Racing say the player remained “tied to the club by a four-year employment contract”.
The club want to reclaim advances they say were paid to Goosen for the use of his image rights, as well as compensation for him not fulfilling his contract.
Goosen has won 13 caps for South Africa, most recently starting at full-back in his team’s 27-13 defeat by Wales in November.
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