Mallett: Pick Kolbe at No 9
Cape Town - Former Springbok coach Nick Mallett says Stormers fullback Cheslin Kolbe should play scrumhalf if he wants to have an international career.
Mallett was speaking in the SuperSport studio after the Stormers' 29-13 Super Rugby victory over the Sharks at Newlands on Saturday night.
Kolbe played another stellar game for the Stormers, but he was man-handled at times, particularly by Sharks centre Frans Steyn.
At 1.71m Kolbe is a small player and Mallett fears he's won't be picked at fullback at international level because of his size.
"I keep asking myself, is he being played in the right position? Will he become an international fullback? In the present South African system, they’ll never pick him because he’s too small," said Mallett.
"He’s the same height and weight as Aaron Smith. Smith is playing for the All Blacks and is one of the best scrumhalves in the world. Kolbe played No 9 at sevens - he’s got brilliant ability around the fringes.
"Forwards are slow, they’re not as agile as backline players, so his ability to step forwards around the fringes is far greater than in the wide open spaces where he’s up against other backline players.
"We’ve given opportunities to Francois Hougaard, Cobus Reinach and Sarel Pretorius, so why not Kolbe? He’s got more pace than any of them, he’s got a devastating boot, he’s very dangerous and he’s got a good pass."