South Africa: Cheslin Kolbe delighted with Kurt-Lee Arendse’s rise to the top

David Skippers
Cheslin Kolbe and Kurt-Lee Arendse image Springboks.jpg

South Africa’s star utility back and 2019 Rugby World Cup winner Cheslin Kolbe has revealed his admiration for fellow Springbok speedster Kurt-Lee Arendse.

Kolbe and Arendse are both small in stature but have been punching above their weight in the international arena for the Boks.

Excitement machines

Blessed with quick feet and searing pace the duo are two of the global game’s most exciting players. At the age of 29, Kolbe is the more established player but Arendse has also shone to the top after making his Test debut against Wales in Bloemfontein in 2022.

Since then, the 26-year-old, who stands at 1.77 metres and weighs 80 kilograms, has made seven Test appearances and scored as many tries in those encounters.

Kolbe believes that Arendse’s lack of size should not be held against him and said he has been impressed with his international team-mate’s rise to the top.

“It’s been a delight to see Kurt-Lee exploding onto the scene and showing, again, that rugby is not just about how big you are. If you are good enough, then you deserve to be there, regardless of your size,” Kolbe told News24 in an interview from France last week.

Kolbe currently plies his trade with Top 14 heavyweights Toulon and is slightly shorter than Arendse at 1.71 metres but also weighs 80 kilograms. He expects Arendse to continue with his upward trajectory for his club – the Bulls – and in the Test arena.

“He is a wonderful player and while it’s been amazing to see what he has done, I’m even more excited to see what he will do next,” he said.

Kolbe added that South Africa will always have a huge advantage as there are several talented attacking players in the country.

Grabbed their opportunities

Arendse’s Bulls team-mate Canan Moodie is another player who has impressed Kolbe, who believes the duo have made good use of the chances they received at international level.

“That’s the beautiful thing about South African rugby; we are blessed with talent, and it’s all about taking your opportunities when they come. Those two guys have stuck up their hands.”

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