South Africa winger Cheslin Kolbe is no stranger to big occasions. With a Rugby World Cup final, a Champions Cup title, and an Olympic Games bronze medal under his belt, the 29-year-old is no stranger to success. On Sunday, Kolbe will take to the field as his Springboks face off against hosts and tournament favourites France in the World Cup quarter-final in Paris.
For Kolbe, playing in the French capital holds a special significance. Having spent four seasons at giants Toulouse and two more at glamorous Toulon, he is familiar with the French rugby scene. His time at Toulouse was particularly fruitful, with trophy success including clinching the Top 14 title in 2021 with a long-range drop goal at the Stade de France.
During his time in French club rugby, Kolbe had the opportunity to play alongside some of the best French players, including Les Bleus captain Antoine Dupont and flanker Charles Ollivon. This experience has given Kolbe a unique advantage as he prepares to face off against the French national team.
Speaking to reporters this week, Kolbe expressed his excitement for the upcoming match. “It’s definitely a massive one,” he said. “There’s been a lot of excitement throughout this week for management and players.”
Reflecting on his time in France, Kolbe acknowledged that it has helped him feel more at ease playing in Paris. “Playing in France for six years, it’s a familiar feel,” he said. “I’ve played with a few of the French players, who are good quality players.”
With his impressive track record and familiarity with the French rugby scene, Kolbe is poised to make a significant impact in the quarter-final match. As the Springboks aim to defend their Webb Ellis trophy, all eyes will be on Kolbe as he showcases his speed, agility, and skill on the field.