Former Springbok wing Breyton Paulse says Cheslin Kolbe’s size should not be a concern when it comes to selecting him for the Springboks. DYLAN JACK reports.
Kolbe’s call-up to the squad for the Australasian tour has been a big talking point over the past week, with some fans and pundits believing his 80kg frame could be exposed at Test level.
Former Springbok coach Nick Mallett has even suggested a potential shift to scrumhalf, should Kolbe want to make it as a Test-level player.
However, Paulse, a diminutive flier for the Boks in his own day, says Kolbe’s size could be more of an asset than a drawback.
‘His selection is very exciting,’ Paulse told SARugbymag.co.za. ‘When I heard about it, I was very happy. The tradition in South Africa has been that smaller players are a “no-go”. Of late, players of all shapes and sizes have underperformed.
‘Cheslin is a player who will bring a different dimension in terms of his game-breaking abilities. In a time when we have not been doing so well over the past three or four years, it will not do any harm to give a guy like Cheslin the opportunity.
‘He is a small guy but is a tough and dynamic player too. I don’t think we need to worry about his defence because he is a little dynamite.
‘People sometimes don’t realise it is tougher to tackle a smaller guy. I managed to slip through a lot of tackles because I was a bit smaller. The bigger guys sometimes present a bigger target to tackle.’
‘I would prefer to blend him in and bring him off the bench as much as possible. I still don’t think he would ever let the team down. He has lots of confidence about his play, especially when you look at some of the tries he has scored in France.
‘When you look at how the All Blacks have brought through someone like Damian McKenzie, I can’t see why Cheslin, with the right mentorship and blending, cannot make an impact on the team.’
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