Cheslin Kolbe picks Lions series over Tokyo Olympics
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CAPE TOWN – Explosive pocket rocket Cheslin Kolbe will be available for the Springboks during next year’s British and Irish Lions tour, and will not be going to the Olympics with the Blitzboks.
Kolbe was keen to represent the Blitzboks in Tokyo having done so during their bronze medal campaign during the Rio games four years ago.
However, the coronavirus pandemic has thrown a spanner in the works and caused the 2020 Tokyo Olympics to be pushed back by a year.
In an interview with Planet Rugby, Kolbe said picking between the Lions tour and the Olympics was a tough decision, adding he will choose to help the world champion Springboks.
“Although I would love to play Sevens for my country at the Tokyo Olympics, to be part of a British and Lions series is a goal I really want to achieve and I would like to be a part of that because it only happens every 12 years.
“Next year would be my only chance to face them, if I do get selected, as I won’t be around for their next tour so I would definitely go for that option,” said the Toulouse flyer.
Because of the coronavirus and the cancellation of the French rugby season, Kolbe has had more time to spend with family in Cape Town.
“I came to South Africa early in March as I had to take a break after the Rugby World Cup,” he said.
“Initiallt it was a two-week holiday as it was my daughter’s birthday and my wife’s birthday was also coming up. So I decided to come to Cape Town to spend time with my family and luckily enough, I’ve spent some extra time here due to the Covid-19 lockdown.”