CAPE TOWN – There are ways to bring big players down.
That is the view of Cheslin Kolbe, who'll run out in the No 14 jersey when the Springboks host the Wallabies in their second-last Rugby Championship match at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Saturday.
At around 1.71m and 74 kilograms, Kolbe's unmistakable skill and talent has often been overshadowed by size-matters opinions.
And while he's proven many, many times that that what he offers should be highlighted way more, Kolbe says that playing against bigger players actually excites him.
“I'm not the biggest oke on the field, and playing against guys who are bigger than me excites me,” he said on Thursday. “It's not about your size, it's about your attitude and belief. There are a lot of guys bigger than me, but there are ways to bring them down.”
It didn't take him long since arriving in France to prove that it's not about size.
After joining Toulouse in the Top 14 last year, Kolbe quickly became a fan-favourite. And while he said that international rugby is a big step-up, he's excited to run out in Port Elizabeth this weekend.
“I'm quite excited. I think even though I've played there in Super Rugby and Top 14, international rugby is a step-up. You have to make the right decisions at the right time and do what's best for the team. But the guys around me make it easier.”
“The decision I made to go to France was more than just a rugby decision. I never gave up on playing for the Springboks. God's timing is the beat timing.”
“I just kept on working hard and playing the best rugby I could, and I got an opportunity. To me rugby is rugby. In France it's not as fast as Super Rugby, it's more physical, but you just have to adapt.”
And when it comes to the Aussie challenge that awaits - with Dane Haylett-Petty, Israel Folau and Marika Koroibete forming the back three - Kolbe said that it's going to be all about who shows up on the day.
“They've got a good backline with Dane Haylett-Petty and Israel Folau at the back. But it's a good challenge for us.”
“We can do what they can do as well, it's just going to be about whoever's the best on the day. If we just pitch up together, I think we'll be fine.”