Kolbe can be a match winner for the Boks in Brisbane
Cape rugby fans will be elated with the inclusion of Cheslin Kolbe in the Springbok squad for the Rugby Championship clash against Australia in Brisbane on Saturday, but especially with Bongi Mbonambi starting ahead of Malcolm Marx at hooker.
They will be disappointed, however, that there is no room for Damian Willemse, who some pundits believe should have been given a chance at flyhalf ahead of the out-of-sorts Handre Pollard. Instead, Elton Jantjies gets his umpteenth chance to prove himself as the starting flyhalf.
Kolbe deserves to get an opportunity to prove his credentials once more after excelling for Toulouse in the French Top 14. Recently, with his side trailing 10-6 against Lyon, Kolbe received the ball deep inside his own half and set off on one of his trademark runs.
The 24-year-old sliced through the Lyon defence before eventually setting up Yoann Huget for his side's only try of the match. It helped to earn his side a 16-16 draw. Kolbe will become the 911th Springbok should he get onto the field.
It's believed that the seven changes Bok coach Rassie Erasmus made were perhaps with the tough challenge in mind that looms against the All Blacks in Wellington next week. At the same time, Erasmus knows another loss won't be acceptable after the dismal defeat against Argentina in Mendoza, and with the Aussies being clobbered twice by the All Blacks.
“Now it is win at all costs,” Erasmus said in the post-match television interview.
Centre Damian de Allende has just played one game since returning from injury for Western Province but earns a recall with Jessie Kriel. It's unlikely that De Allende will last the full game, with Pollard having to act as back-up centre.
Springbok captain Siya Kolisi moves back to openside flank so that Stormers lock Pieter-Steph du Toit can be utilised on the blindside. Steven Kitshoff gets a deserving start at prop.
Willie le Roux, Makazole Mapimpi, Jesse Kriel, Damian de Allende, Aphiwe Dyantyi, Elton Jantjies, Faf de Klerk, Warren Whiteley, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Siya Kolisi (captain), Franco Mostert, Eben Etzebeth, Frans Malherbe, Bongi Mbonambi, Steven Kitshoff. Replacements: Malcolm Marx, Tendai Mtawarira, Wilco Louw, RG Snyman, Francois Louw, Embrose Papier, Handre Pollard, Cheslin Kolbe.