|Former Blitzbok and DHL Western Province outside back Cheslin Kolbe has been added to the Springbok squad for the forthcoming Australasian leg of the Castle Lager Rugby Championship as the only uncapped player.|
The fleet-footed Kolbe was on Friday named in the 31-man Springbok squad for the two Tests away to Australia and New Zealand. South Africa face the Wallabies on 8 September in Brisbane, and the following week they take on the All Blacks in Wellington.
Rassie Erasmus, the SA Rugby Director of Rugby, has added six players to the squad that returned on Tuesday from Argentina. They are the 24-year-old Kolbe, Jesse Kriel and Damian de Allende (both centres), Ross Cronje (scrumhalf), Schalk Brits (hooker) and Sikhumbuzo Notshe (loose forward).
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Kolbe, a former Junior Springbok fullback who was a non-playing member of the 2016 Springbok tour squad to Europe, has established himself as a key backline player for Toulouse since joining the French club from DHL Western Province. He is equally at home out wide on the wing.
Erasmus appears to have been impressed by the work of the Toulouse utility back after he impressed last weekend in the Top 14.
“Cheslin has certainly grabbed his opportunities for his French club and he has earned his spot in the squad. He is in good form and we are delighted have him in the group,” said Erasmus.
Some on social media were taken by surprise at the selection.
The other players who had been training with the squad but will not travel Down Under, Van Zyl, Lwazi Mvovo, Lionel Mapoe, Marvin Orie and Akker van der Merwe, are also released back to their respective provinces.
“We would like to ensure these players remain match fit and the Currie Cup is the ideal place for them to ensure they don’t get rusty, which is why we decided it would be in their best interest to return to their provinces so that they can be considered for selection,” explained Erasmus.
The Bok squad will assemble on Saturday in Johannesburg and they fly out to Brisbane later on the same day.
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