Springboks star and World Cup hero Cheslin Kolbe has gone viral after Toulouse’s Champions Cup win over Munster, but not for his usual hot-stepping deeds.
Toulouse had earlier come back from a 16-9 deficit to defeat Munster 40-33 at Thomond Park in a crowdless fixture.
Kolbe was involved in the lead-up to a smart try to Antoine Dupont with thirteen minutes remaining, which gave the visitors the lead for the final time. After a Romain Ntamack penalty, Dupont sealed the game with his second try with just three minutes to go.
As the players began to disperse the field after the final whistle, the Springboks winger was seen picking up rubbish and empty plastic bottles left by the teams from around the ground. A video shared by BT Sport on Twitter had over 200,000 views and attracted hundreds of comments.
Cheslin Kolbe, arguably the best player in the world right now, cleaning up rubbish around the pitch at Thomond Park after full-time…
— Rugby on BT Sport (@btsportrugby) April 3, 2021
Kolbe’s humble act earned enormous praise online, with the star showered with admiration for taking the time to keep the pitch clean. Fans called him a ‘legend’, ‘still humble’ and a ‘great player’ with a ‘great attitude’.
One Irish fan even applauded the efforts of the IRFU to get more South Africans with character like Kolbe playing in Ireland for Pro14 clubs.
— Saffas Abroad Rugby ??? (@SaffasRugby) April 3, 2021
Culture is so important. The standard you walk past is the standard you accept. System leaders be more like Cheslin Kolbe. https://t.co/RcKYXJsX85
— Cathal Lynch (@CathalLynch) April 3, 2021
When you see Cheslin Kolbe display the core values and #respect of rugby union before, during and after the big match, you can't help but commend the IRFU for trying their best to bring more and more South Africans to these shores to bring some real values to the green geansaí ?
— Big Bossman Steo (@bigbossmansteo) April 3, 2021
— Kai Horstmann (@KaiHorstmann) April 3, 2021
A man who never forgot his roots, and is world class showing everyone he is still humble. A lesson to all ????
— Kev Robbo (@robbo4614) April 3, 2021
Great player, great attitude. Humility above all else.
— Three Hares (@TinnersRabbits) April 3, 2021
Legend. And proud to call him South African
— Deeolan Govender (@DeeolanGovender) April 3, 2021
They could do with him down Cardiff Bay right now.
— Mick Parry (@MichaelParry3) April 3, 2021
He is humble like the Japanese. A great player and a great human.
— Mickey (@mikewildthing) April 3, 2021
Other fans were less applauding of the Springboks star, focused on letting everyone know of their disapproval of the other players leaving their rubbish around the pitch in the first place.
One fan wrote ‘put it in the bin and let the cameras see you putting it in the bin’ to show the youngsters what needed to be done in the first instance. Another wrote ‘all that single-use plastic’ is a disgrace, and that you never see it in football.
Although great that Cheslin cares enough, is humble enough actually what it’s about is that pro players should not set a bad example by throwing their rubbish on the pitch in first place. Put it in the bin and let the cameras see you putting it in the bin – show the youngsters..
— Andrew Banks (@andrewbankswood) April 3, 2021
That’s the very least he could do. All that single-use plastic, it’s a disgrace and he’s a disgrace for contributing to it. You literally NEVER see this in football
— Mr Bobby (@MrNameNo) April 3, 2021
Another South African fan used the opportunity to bring up England and wearing medals again, saying this is the difference between champions and second place. It seems wearing silver medals and picking up rubbish have little in common, however, and the comment was lambasted by other fans.
That’s the difference between champions and England. It’s about mindset. England players after the WC removing their medals, the chips their props have in their shoulders, and a coach that thinks it’s acceptable. You have to be a human champion before you can rise to greatness.
— Rich Sinclair (@RichRSin) April 3, 2021
What has Cheslin Kolbe picking up empty bottle caps got to do with England rugby..
— RA (@biogasmouse) April 3, 2021
Why live in England with that big chip on your shoulder ? It’s ridiculous how you clutch at straws to find anything to have a dig at England over something that happened 18 months ago ????
— Adam Warwick (@AdamWarwick86) April 3, 2021
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