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'I love visiting restaurants with Cheslin because you're more than likely to get a couple of drinks or a meal free with it'

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Adam Davy/PA Images via Getty Images)

All Blacks World Cup winner Jerome Kaino has revealed he loves heading out on the town in Toulouse with Cheslin Kolbe as the superstar popularity of the Springboks World Cup-winning winger in the French city always delivers some ver welcome perks.

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Back row Kaino and wide man Kolbe are in England this weekend as Toulouse, chasing their record fifth Champions Cup title, take on Premiership leaders Exeter in the semi-finals at Sandy Park.

Kolbe was at the heart in helping Toulouse reach the last-four when his ridiculous footwork ripped Ulster asunder in last Sunday’s quarter-final. A scrum cap hides Kolbe’s head when he plays, but Kaino has reported that no-one in Toulouse fails to recognise the little winger when he is out and about away from the rugby scene.    

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Former All Blacks back row Jerome Kaino guests on All Access, the RugbyPas interview show

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Former All Blacks back row Jerome Kaino guests on All Access, the RugbyPas interview show

“He [Kolbe] is massive over here,” said Kaino, the All Blacks World Cup winner, during a guest appearance on All Access, the Rugby Pass interview show, ahead of the European semi-final. 

“I don’t think he can go unnoticed in the city or out in public. I love visiting restaurants with him because when Cheslin’s in the restaurant you’re more than likely to get a couple of drinks free or a meal free with it, so it’s great.

“He’s definitely one of the best players that I have ever been lucky enough to play with. It’s very rare that you get a player that is headhunted during a game and even when he is headhunted he gets the ball and he does something with it.

“I don’t think there is a player in the game right now that can beat anyone (like him) one on one. It’s just incredible and sometimes when the lungs are going a bit and you see him do his magic it definitely gives you a bit of a boost.   

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“He definitely does work hard on a lot of aspects of his game. It’s great for our team culture as well to be able to see someone of that stature just work hard at his craft. It brings some good habits into our younger guys. 

“Definitely I see some of those things are natural talent, natural gifts, but I do see him work hard on a lot of those things that people might not think he is good at. He is pretty physical for a small guy and he definitely works hard at the tackle and the breakdown. A lot of those twinkle toes things, that is just a naturally gifted talent.”

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Shaylen 2 hours ago
Jack Willis' Champions Cup masterclass proves English eligibility rules need a rethink

If France, Wales, England, Scotland and Ireland got together and all changed their eligibility laws in the same way SA has it would be absolutely bonkers. All players from all nations involved in Europe would be fair game as would their coaches. The investment in rugby would be supercharged as teams would rush to create dream teams. Transfer markets would be super charged, salary caps may change, private investment would grow as rich backers first buy clubs and then put money into their clubs in an effort to land the best players. The richest clubs and franchises would benefit most but money and players would move across borders at a steady flow. Suddenly countries like Wales and Scotland would have a much larger pool of players to select from who would be developed and improved in systems belonging to their rivals within superstar squads while their clubs receive large sums in the transfer market. The Six Nations would experience a big boost as the best players become available all the time. The Champions cup would become even more fiercely contested as the dream teams clash. Fan engagement would grow as fans would follow their favourite players creating interest in the game across the continent. Transfer markets and windows would become interesting events in themselves, speculation would drive it and rumours of big transfers and interest in players would spread. All of this is speculation and much of it would not eventuate straight away but just like in football the spread of players and talent would create these conditions over time. The transfer markets in European football is proof of this. Football had the same club vs country debate eons ago and favoured an open system. This has made it the largest game in the world with global interest and big money. Rugby needs to embrace this approach in the long run as well

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Jon 8 hours ago
Waratahs 'counter-culture' limits Wallaby options for Joe Schmidt

This is a bit dramatic for me, I think the Rebels and Force cultures would be very strong, and if a player is chosen from either, you can be confident they are in a good head space and ready. Whether they quite have the technical or tactical foundations of the other two states is where one would way their risk of selection. I see no need for Schmidt to worry about that risk in this squad. The main reason I could see a predominance of players from Brumbies and Reds, is simple cohesion. What might the coaching group make of what’s lacking in the Tahs, and to a lesser extent Rebels and Force’s, franchise? Certainly sides (players) that are running irish plays like we saw from that lovely McDermott long ball with have a head start. I hope the players can continue it at International level. Really liked what I saw of Wright (don’t know player focus and just hadn’t seen a lot of him anyway) in that game, can see him being a glue in a Wallaby side too. A with the similar worry of selecting players like Ryan, I think it unfounded to worry so much about forward balance at the moment. Including both Wright and Skelton in the same lineout is not going to lose you games gainst Wales. Nor will any unknown weakenss Wales might find in Ryan be exploited to any great extent. It is the perfect time to introduce such a young player. What other shortcuts might Schmidt want to make now, just a year out from hosting BIL? When Gamble came on the scene I thought he had a Pocock ability to break game apart along with performing the role of a openside well. I would be very keen to drop Leota/Hooper for Gamble, and in your squad make up, include Uru as a lock. Did you forget to remove Vunivalu from your team? Would you have Meafou in your squad if you could?

114 Go to comments
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