Cobus Reinach says Cheslin Kolbe’s unpredictability not only elevates the teams he plays for, but also helps opposing players to improve their game, write MARIETTE ADAMS.
Kolbe had been at the centre of Toulouse’s rise to the pinnacle of French and indeed European rugby, playing a leading role in the team’s Top 14 and Champions Cup title wins in recent weeks.
For Springboks players and fans alike, one of the most endearing moments from the 2019 World Cup final was when Kolbe sat down England’s Owen Farrell with a vicious sidestep.
As a fellow Bok squad member, Reinach was able to enjoy Kolbe’s brilliance on that particular day. But playing for Montpellier in France, Reinach has had his fair share of competing against the diminutive Kolbe in the Top 14 and he believes being outmanoeuvred by Kolbe could be a blessing in disguise.
“Facing Cheslin is definitely a way to improve yourself because you don’t know what’s coming,” Reinach said during a media briefing on Tuesday. “He is a special player, who can just create magic out of anything and that’s why the Top 14 is such a good fit for him.”
Reinach also touched on the main the differences between playing in the English Premiership and the Top 14 and explained why the latter league has helped him take his game to the next level.
“Playing in the Top 14 is a little different to playing in the English Premiership, which is a lot more structured, with shapes and maps; whereas the Top 14 is a little more instinctive. Playing in Top 14 got me a little bit more alert, a bit more ready for everything that can happen.
“I think playing overseas opens up your eyes a little bit, especially for me. You get to know different cultures and different type of players. It takes you completely out of your comfort zone to play there. I feel you grow as a player.”
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