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Springboks admit they're toying with switching Cheslin Kolbe's position

By Ian Cameron
(Photo by Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

South Africa head coach Jacque Nienaber has admitted that they are considering using Springbok Rugby World Cup-winning winger Cheslin Kolbe at flyhalf in a bid to fill a gap this summer.

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South Africa take on Wales in a three Test series but it looks like Nienaber will be without the services of both Handre Pollard and Elton Jantjies.

Veteran Frans Steyn, former Montpellier star Johan Goosen and one-time heir apparent Damian Willemse are certainly part of the conversation, but Nienaber has now surprised a few by suggesting they are considering using Kolbe as potential cover.

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“That’s why last year our thoughts were on getting an experienced head in the squad like Morne Steyn. Remember, we have Frans Steyn who can play there, Gaza [Damian Willemse], Cheslin put in some excellent performances for Toulouse last year before he went to Toulon, where he played for Toulouse at flyhalf,” said Nienaber.

“So, there are third choice options that we can use within the squad. But that’s also why it’s important to have a look at a guy like Johan. It would be nice to know where he is at and if he still wants to be part of it.”

Indeed Toulouse did use Kolbe at 10 with some success, even starting him in Europe last season before hos move to Toulon. His potential selection at pivot it does however beg the question, why start arguably the world’s best winger anywhere else?

It’s an interesting case, as Kolbe’s club Toulon are also currently looking for an additional flyhalf. The Toulonais are set to lose both Louis Carbonnel and Anthony Belleau at the end of the season, leaving them with a major depth crisis at 10.

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While they have secured New Zealander Ihaia West from Ronan O’Gara’s La Rochelle, they are still in the hunt for another top-class playmaker.

Bernard Lemaitre – who took over RCT last year – is carrying on in the combative tradition of Mourad Boudjellal and it’s coincided with a number of big names deciding to exit the club.

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Mzilikazi 3 hours ago
Is the Six Nations balance of power shifting?

An hugely interesting article. Thanks, Nick. Some seem to find this a poor 6 N, but I think it has thrown up a number of fascinating contests. Ofc the falling away of France is always going to be a major point of discussion. The loss of both half backs has hurt them for sure. But they should still be better. Both France and England could easily have been sitting with three defeats right now, especially France. In England’s case, I thought the try Mitchell scored against the Italians was lucky, as he was clearly held in the tackle , but carried on to the line without releasing and regaining the ball. The English blitz defence being talked about so much is still a work in progress, and Ireland, with their powerful men in both backs and forwards can do damage there. I also thought in last weekends game against Scotland, England were pushingtheir luck at the breakdowns, turning them into a chaotic brawl. A different referee may not see it their way so much against Ireland and France. Ireland’s front row does concern me. The starters have not always looked in control, and Andrew Porter is a worry, as he will now be very closely watched in these next two games. Tadgh Furlong is not the player he was at the set piece, and will need to be on his mettle against the very streetwise Genge at Twickenham. I really enjoyed the stats heavy approach in this article. So much that passes one by are brought starkly into the light of day. Finn Russell’s deadly accuracy, the significance of the Welsh backrow duo, Italy’s attacking drop of under a new coach, as they are coming much closer to winning in these games this year.

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