Cape Town - Springbok wing Cheslin Kolbe says he relishes the prospect of proving detractors over his lack of size wrong.
Kolbe was speaking at OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg on Tuesday as the Springboks arrived back in the country following their Rugby World Cup triumph in Japan.
Kolbe was one of the star players at the tournament and a scored a try in South Africa's 32-12 mauling of England in the final in Yokohama.
In rugby terms, Kolbe has a modest physique - he's 1.70m tall and weighs less than 80kg - but was one of the standout defenders of the tournament, adding to his already impressive attacking arsenal.
"This game has a shape and size for each and every player. It doesn't matter what size you are, how much you weigh. If you have the right attitude, the right heart then you can achieve much more," he told reporters.
"I can always remember my dad always told me 'listen, you're not one of the biggest boys on the field so you're going to have to put in the extra 1%'. And it's definitely helped me."
Kolbe added that he's never overawed coming up against players of much greater physical stature.
"To get on to the field playing against a player that weighs 100kg or almost double my weight is an opportunity for me to prove people wrong... to show that it doesn't matter how big or how small you are... there are ways to get around players or tackle players.
"You just have to believe in yourself and have the right mindset... and just give everything you can on that field because you're not just playing for yourself, you're playing for someone next to you. And you want to wear the green and gold jersey with pride."
The 26-year-old, who plies his trade at French giants Toulouse, has scored an impressive eight tries in 14 Tests for the Springboks.
- Compiled by Herman Mostert