France kicking coach Vlok Cilliers believes Cheslin Kolbe’s versatility makes him as “special” as the world’s best player, Antoine Dupont.
Ex-Stormers and Bulls kicking guru Cilliers, who played his one and only Test for the Springboks against the All Blacks in 1996, was speaking to Sport24 in a wide-ranging interview which also touched on Kolbe’s meteoric rise for club and country.
The 28-year-old has been mainly utilised as a wing with the Boks, while also playing at flyhalf and fullback in the Top 14. Kolbe and Dupont were teammates at Toulouse before the former’s big-money move to Toulon.
“I had the privilege of coaching Cheslin when he was still playing for the Stormers,” Cilliers said. “Based on his size, many thought that opponents would just kill him but I was just looking at the progress he was making.
“The type of tries he scored in the World Cup final and the Top 14 were unbelievable. He has speed, a good kicking game and can defend well. He’s similar to Antoine Dupont in that they can both do something special.”
He added: “In France, Cheslin plays at fullback or flyhalf but the world knows him as a Springbok winger. He has scored many tries and plays most of his rugby on the wing for South Africa.
“He is quick and also suited to fullback, so I don’t think there is one position that would be more important than the other.”