Blitzboks great Kyle Brown is backing former teammate Cheslin Kolbe to shine for the Springboks at the upcoming World Cup in Japan.
Brown will be putting his money on Rassie Erasmus’ men at the 2019 World Cup. The former Blitzboks captain, who scored 420 points for the South African Sevens side, believes the Boks are bursting with energy as they go into rugby’s greatest show.
‘I’ve been blown away by South Africa’s progress over the last 12 months – results aside, the quality of rugby has been impressive,’ Brown said. ‘I really enjoy the youthful energy that the squad has, their speed of play and the tactical creativity from set pieces has made watching them very exciting.
‘After the Boks I think New Zealand, England and Ireland have fantastic chances of raising the Webb Ellis this year.’
Brown also commented on former sevens star Kolbe, who played for the Blitzboks in 2013 and 2016, and has been in incredible form for the Springboks of late.
‘I expect explosions and flashing lights from Cheslin,’ Brown said. ‘I think what makes Cheslin so special is that he is so technically sound in all the fundamentals and then when the opportunity arises, he has the ability to exploit space like few players in the game of rugby can.’
The Olympic bronze medal winner also commented on the upcoming Varsity Sevens tournament on 4-5 October at the Pirates Rugby Club, and explained how important a tournament like this is.
‘South African sevens is longing for a structured feeder platform, and that’s exactly where I see Varsity Sevens stepping in. It creates a high-level platform for quality players who see themselves as sevens players to showcase their talents in an arena that is suited to their style of play. The benefits of having a tournament like this is that it gives these players an event to target.’
This year Varsity Women’s Sevens has been introduced to the tournament, with UP-Tuks (University of Pretoria), UJ (University of Johannesburg), UKZN (University of KwaZulu-Natal) and UFH (University of Fort Hare) forming a round-robin competition.
Brown lauded the inclusionary steps Varsity Sports is taking.
‘I think we have so much work to do in South Africa to reposition women’s rugby. For the longest time rugby has been seen as a males-only sport, and if we look at the global growth of women’s rugby we have seen an amazing progression in the level of competition and quality of play.
‘I think it is hugely important for us to create more inclusive, competitive and enjoyable platforms for women to play rugby. This will lead to higher participation and improved skill levels, and ultimately an opportunity to compete for a medal at the Olympics.’
The Varsity Sevens teams will be announced on 23 September after the USSA qualifications.
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