Get the Sport24 daily newsletter delivered to your Inbox!


    Kolbe at No 9: Ex-Bok shares thoughts

    2016-05-17 10:06

    Cape Town - Former Springbok scrumhalf Werner Swanepoel feels Cheslin Kolbe could be a success at scrumhalf but warned that he must be carefully introduced into the role.

    This comes after former Springbok coach Nick Mallett indicated that Kolbe should shift from fullback to scrumhalf if he wants to have a successful international career.

    Speaking in the SuperSport studio at the weekend, Mallett said: “Cheslin Kolbe is incredibly brave, he has very good feet and a good kicking and passing game. I’m not sure he can compete internationally at fullback, being as slight as he is. A year or two ago against the Sharks, he beat them twice from the base of the scrum and created chaos when he stepped two forwards. I think Cheslin just needs experience playing at scrumhalf and he could be the best No 9 in South Africa.”

    Swanepoel, who played 20 Tests at scrumhalf for the Springboks between 1997 and 2000, told Netwerk24 he doesn’t doubt Kolbe’s ability to feature in the No 9 jersey.

    “Cheslin is an unbelievably talented player. But there needs to be clarity. South African rugby shouldn’t make the same mistake as done with Francois Hougaard. He moved far too much between wing and scrumhalf and it had a negative impact on his development,” said Swanepoel.

    Swanepoel warned though that the decision to move Kolbe to scrumhalf should not be a hasty one.

    “We shouldn’t forget that Kolbe could possibly be in (Bok coach) Allister Coetzee’s squad for the series against Ireland. His international career is currently not dependant on a move to scrumhalf.

    “It is nevertheless an important discussion point. South African rugby needs to determine which position will offer Cheslin the best opportunity to play international rugby on a regular basis. Maybe that would be at scrumhalf.”

    Swanepoel highlighted Kolbe’s attacking prowess as a vital asset.

    “His ability to use a small area to put a defender under pressure is worth gold. But he needs to start on a clean slate. Let him start playing scrumhalf from next year. It won’t help unsettle him in the middle of a campaign.”

    At fullback, the 1.7m Kolbe’s defence has come under scrutiny. He has misses 12 of 33 tackle attempts in Super Rugby this year, but Swanepoel feels Kolbe is an “underrated defender”.

    “He’s struggling a bit this year because defenders are putting him under pressure, but at scrumhalf that weakness may a little bit less exposed.”

    What To Read Next

    Read News24’s Comments Policy

    Live Video Streaming
    Video Highlights
    Sport Talk


    23 February 2017
    • Rebels v Blues, AAMI Park 10:45
    24 February 2017
    • Highlanders v Chiefs, 08:35
    • Reds v Sharks, Suncorp Stadium 11:00
    25 February 2017
    • Sunwolves v Hurricanes, Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium 06:15
    • Crusaders v Brumbies, AMI Stadium 08:35
    • Waratahs v Force, Allianz Stadium 10:45
    • Cheetahs v Lions, Toyota Stadium 15:05
    • Kings v Jaguares, Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium 17:15
    • Stormers v Bulls, Cape Town 19:30


    06 August 2016
    30 July 2016
    23 July 2016
    22 July 2016
    16 July 2016
    15 July 2016
    09 July 2016
    08 July 2016
    02 July 2016
    01 July 2016
    29 May 2016
    28 May 2016
    27 May 2016
    21 May 2016
    20 May 2016
    14 May 2016
    13 May 2016
    07 May 2016
    06 May 2016
    30 April 2016
    29 April 2016
    24 April 2016
    23 April 2016
    22 April 2016
    16 April 2016
    15 April 2016
    09 April 2016
    08 April 2016
    03 April 2016
    02 April 2016
    01 April 2016
    27 March 2016
    26 March 2016
    25 March 2016
    19 March 2016
    18 March 2016
    12 March 2016
    11 March 2016
    05 March 2016
    04 March 2016
    27 February 2016
    26 February 2016

    Opinion Poll

    Jake White will leave his job as Montpellier coach next year. Where would you like to see the former Springbok coach, coach next?

    The ultimate Super Rugby quiz!

    There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.