World Cup-winning Springbok wing Cheslin Kolbe is on the cover of the latest SA Rugby magazine, which is now on sale.
The return of live rugby is cause for celebration! New Zealand’s Super Rugby Aotearoa has certainly brought a healthy dose of compelling viewing for rugby lovers who have been deprived of action since mid-March.
Australia’s local competition was next to get under way in July, and in South Africa there were signs of hope as players began to filter back to training.
During this lockdown, it has been fascinating to engage with players who have had unexpected time on their hands, and as we highlight in two must-read features, there has been a clear shift in the way our rugby stars are taking control of their own narrative and beginning to explore interests outside the game.
Warrick Gelant is one of those players who has made productive use of the enforced break, while fellow World Cup-winner Jesse Kriel reveals how he saw it as an opportunity to focus on fine-tuning his game.
There have been no shortage of interesting stories to tell during this time, and our cover star Cheslin Kolbe spoke to us about the inspirational outreach work he was involved in during lockdown, while revealing some anecdotes from his World Cup journey.
We also find out that one of Kolbe’s biggest fans is none other than Gio Aplon, who tells SA Rugby magazine how important it is that misconceptions regarding size and ability of players is changing in South African rugby circles.
In this issue, we also catch up with Bok fullback Willie le Roux. The 30-year-old reveals how he overcame elements of self-doubt at the World Cup, while expressing a real desire to continue contributing to the Springbok cause as the 2021 British & Irish Lions series looms.
With this in mind, make sure you check out the feature on Lions coach Warren Gatland, while we also caught up with Scotland-qualified wing Duhan van der Merwe.
A final word should also go to legendary Blitzbok player Cecil Afrika, who chats to us about his recent retirement and the standout memories from a stellar career.
Enjoy the read and, most of all, stay safe!
– Craig Lewis