In a game increasingly being dominated by giants, Cheslin Kolbe has a message for the people who want to write off the smaller players on the rugby field.
“There is a saying that dynamite comes in small packages,” the Springboks winger told reporters on Wednesday (October 16) ahead of their World Cup quarter-final against Japan.
Kolbe is officially listed at 1.71 metres (5′ 7″) tall and weighs about 80 kilogrammes, although the Olympic rugby sevens bronze medallist barely looks that big. He was once labelled as too small to play for the Springboks and was told if he wanted to play top-level rugby to consider a shift to scrumhalf, but the 25-year-old has firmly silenced those critics with his electrifying pace and balanced side-stepping.
Kolbe said he had been suitably impressed with Japan’s own small packets of dynamite in Kenki Fukuoka and Kotaro Matsushima and the Brave Blossoms’ style of play.
“Both the Japanese wingers are playing phenomenal rugby and have been in good form,” Kolbe said.
Scrumhalf Herschel Jantjies, another diminutive but dangerous player for South Africa, said it would be important to try and nullify Japan’s pace in Sunday’s (October 20) quarter-final.