Cheslin Kolbe: ‘A lot of talk about Ireland deserving to win the World Cup, we’ll see in July’

Jared Wright
Ireland centre Bundee Aki and Springboks winger Cheslin Kolbe

Cheslin Kolbe has added his voice to the war on words ahead of the Springboks v Ireland series.

Springboks speedster Cheslin Kolbe has added to the discourse ahead of South Africa’s two-Test match series against Ireland.

Ahead of the highly-anticipated series between the two international heavyweights, there has been plenty of talk from the Springboks players.

Eben Etzebeth spoke of the Ireland players’ demeanour after their World Cup pool stage victory over South Africa, stating that they were “arrogant” and that they said: ” We will see you in the final.”

More recently, Damian de Allende said Ireland should expect “war” after the way the Irish media “disrespected” the South Africans after their 2017 loss in Dublin.

Ex-Ireland back Simon Zebo also stoked the fire with his comments that Rassie Erasmus hates the Irish media after the Bok boss used several videos to motivate his team during the World Cup.

Cheslin Kolbe’s challenge

With Ireland heading into the 2023 tournament as the top-ranked side in the world, many expected them to break their quarter-final hoodoo and reach the final, where they would potentially meet France.

This led to hooker Rob Herring dubbing the 2024 Six Nations match between France and Ireland as “the World Cup final that everyone wanted but never got.”

Kolbe, who is in a race against time to be fit for the series against Ireland due to a knee niggle, has now added his view.

“There’s been a lot of hype and a lot of talk about it,” Kolbe said in an interview with News24.

“Obviously, we badly wanted to beat them in the pool match at the World Cup, but they had the better of us on the day.

“So, a lot of excitement about Ireland in July, but we’re not going to get ahead of ourselves, we’ve got Wales at Twickenham and then the focus will shift onto Ireland.

“There’s been a lot of talk about Ireland deserving to win the World Cup, we’ll see in July.”

Simon Zebo: ‘Rassie Erasmus hates the Irish, he really, really doesn’t like us’

Kolbe eager to work with new coaches

Following the departures of Jacques Nienaber to Leinster and Felix Jones to England, Erasmus took over the role as head coach once again.

To fill the voids of the aforementioned coaches, Erasmus has recruited the help of former Munster and Ireland hooker Jerry Flannery as defence coach and ex-All Blacks fly-half Tony Brown as the team’s new attack guru.

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Unbeknown to most, Flannery worked with the Springboks as a consultant during their preparations for the World Cup, while Kolbe says he is eager to start working with Brown, who has been spoken highly of in Japan.

“It’s definitely going to be exciting working with two new coaches,” Kolbe said.

“I got to know a bit about Jerry (as a consultant) in the build-up to the World Cup in 2023, he’s a hard worker who’s very passionate about the game and the Springboks, he’ll definitely add value to the team.

“On coach Tony, speaking to the Japanese boys they’ve told me how much they love him and what a good person he is on and off the field.

“With his experience of playing in New Zealand and in South Africa, it’ll be exciting to see how the Springbok attack will grow – hopefully we’ll get a lot more opportunities to run with the ball.”

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