Cheslin Kolbe scooped up three awards at the annual Top 14 ceremony in Paris to cap a successful year for both club and country.
The Bok flyer walked away with the Top 14 Player of the Year award, Best Try of the Season and was also voted the Best Top 14 Player at the World Cup, beating Fijian star Semi Radradra of Bordeaux-Begles and Clermont Auvergne’s Damian Penaud.
The 26-year-old was instrumental to the Boks’ World Cup-winning campaign and also key to Toulouse’s success last season, scoring six tries in 16 appearances for the French club, which claimed the Top 14 title for a record 20th time back in June.
The Bok wing enjoyed further success on the international stage winning both the Rugby Championship and World Cup, while he also became the second South African to ever score a try in a World Cup final, after a sublime finish in the victory over England.
Le prix du plus bel essai de la saison 2018/2019 est remis par Jessy Trémoulière et Lenaig Corson à…
— TOP 14 Rugby (@top14rugby) November 25, 2019
Speaking after the ceremony in the French capital, a humble Kolbe reflected on his achievements this year while also thanking those around him for his success.
‘It’s been a phenomenal season, not just for me but for my club and for my country, winning the Top 14, the Rugby Championship and then the World Cup in one year – I’m really blessed,’ said Kolbe. ‘I couldn’t have done this without all my teammates. I give credit to all of them because if they didn’t create opportunities for me as a winger to finish off, I wouldn’t be standing here now.’
After what has been a fantastic year for Kolbe, the illusive speedster saw his efforts recognised with a nomination for the 2019 World Rugby Player of the Year award, which was ultimately presented to Bok teammate Pieter-Steph du Toit. Kolbe was also awarded French publication Midi Olympique‘s prestigious l’Oscar Monde Player of the Year award last week, to add to his Backline Player of the Year award at the recent BrightRock Players Choice Awards.
Despite all his recent achievements at both club level and the national side, the illusive wing remains determined to achieve even more success in the coming months.
‘There are two more things I would still love to achieve and that’s probably winning the European Champions Cup and hopefully the Olympics with South Africa,’ added Kolbe.
‘I will keep on working hard and if there’s a door that opens or an opportunity that comes my way, I’ll just make sure that I’m ready for whatever opportunities.’
Photo: Getty Images/Sandra Ruhaut