World Cup-winning wing Cheslin Kolbe has hit out at his detractors questioning his ability to perform at the highest level because of his size.
Standing at 1.7m and weighing in at 80kg, Kolbe’s stature has always been a talking point in rugby circles, with many believing he is too small to play at the highest level over an extended period of time.
But with a World Cup title, Rugby Championship and an Olympic medal to his name – which he won with the Springboks and Blitzboks, respectively – the utility back has proven all his naysaysers wrong.
Additionally, Kolbe is currently one of, if not the most, influential players in world rugby for club and country.
In a candid interview with AFP, Kolbe spoke out against his critics.
‘I’m really tired of the comments about my size. I have friends who sent me screen shots of people still saying I’m too small, that I’m not the best,’ he said.
‘I’m a firm believer that this game is meant for each and every human being, no matter how big or small you are.
‘I’m still working on it to stay on top of my game because people look for the one mistake. They’ll wait for me to miss a tackle to get on the wagon,’ he added.
Kolbe will be one of the key players in the Boks’ upcoming three-Test series against the British & Irish Lions. On the domestic front, his excellent form has propelled Toulouse to the summit of the French Top 14 log with four rounds remaining and also in the European Champions Cup final a fortnight from now. In 2019, Kolbe also helped Toulouse win the French Top 14 title for the first time in seven years.
But the elusive speedster is already targeting more success with the French outfit.
‘I still want to achieve a lot of things with Toulouse. Another Top 14 and a European Cup. That’s a big one, with us in the final,’ he said.
‘If we can top that off it would have been a good ride for these past four years and hopefully that can continue.’
© Agence France-Presse
Photo: David Rogers/Getty Images