Sun, 17 Nov 2019

I had fun at scrumhalf, says Bok star Kolbe

News24
14 Aug 2019, 04:10 GMT+10

Cape Town - Springbok star Cheslin Kolbe says he enjoyed his cameo at scrumhalf during last Saturday's 46-13 win over Argentina in Salta.

The Springbok winger moved to scrumhalf for 10 minutes while Faf de Klerk was in the sin-bin and impressed in the position.

"With Faf getting the yellow card, I had to settle in as quickly as possible. But wherever I can add value to the team, I am happy to do so. It was good, I had fun at scrumhalf for those 10 minutes but I definitely couldn't feel my lungs," Kolbe quipped.

Kolbe added that he got great support from Bok flyhalf Handre Pollard.

"Getting guidance from Handre Pollard especially, in terms of the communication and where we need to be on the park, was a huge help."

The topic of Kolbe playing scrumhalf is not a new one, with former Springbok coach Nick Mallett suggesting a few years ago that the 1.71m Kolbe should consider a move to No 9 if he wanted to play international rugby.

Mallett again weighed in on the discussion in the SuperSport studio over the weekend.

"I was quite relieved that Cheslin Kolbe played so well at scrumhalf for the 10 minutes when Faf de Klerk was off the field because if he made a few shocking passes everyone would have said I didn't know what I was talking about," Mallett said.

"He has been playing fantastic rugby on the wing but in this instance where he had to move to scrumhalf, he did so quite seamlessly. What always impresses me about Kolbe is his unbelievable courage for a man of his size. He is barely 80kg, if that, but he goes in as hard as anyone on the field."

Mallett said Kolbe's versatility could mean that Bok coach Rassie Erasmus opts for only two specialist scrumhalves in this World Cup squad.

"But honestly, apart from playing sevens, I'm not sure how much rugby Kolbe ever played at No 9 and yet he looked so comfortable there. From a World Cup perspective, it allows us to think of perhaps taking two specialist scrumhalves with Kolbe to cover and that liberates another position in the backline or in the forwards."

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