South Africa’s World Cup star Cheslin Kolbe has revealed that he would like to add an Olympic gold medal to cap off an impressive year of rugby for club and country.
The 26-year-old winger clinched the Top 14 player of the season award in Paris on Monday following a spellbinding season with Toulouse, who won the French domestic title for the first time in seven years in June.
Kolbe’s spectacular form warranted an international call-up to the Springboks, and he played a vital role in South Africa’s Rugby Championship win in August and World Cup success earlier this month.
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He was subsequently nominated for the 2019 World Rugby player of the year award, which was ultimately awarded to international teammate Pieter-Steph du Toit, but there are two titles that Kolbe is adamant on getting his hands on.
“There are two more things I would still love to achieve and that’s probably winning the European Champions Cup and hopefully the Olympics with South Africa,” he said after the Top 14 awards ceremony in the French capital.
“I will keep on working hard and if there’s a door that opens or an opportunity that comes my way I’ll just make sure that I’m ready for whatever opportunities.”
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The 14-test star, who was part of South Africa’s bronze medal-winning side at the 2016 Rio Olympics, said he is yet to speak to Blitzbokke coach Neil Powell about a return to the national sevens set-up.
“I haven’t discussed it in person with SA Rugby. It’s something I would love to be a part of,” Kolbe said.
“It’s another big event. It’s probably one of the biggest stages of rugby or sport. If it does it happen, it happens.”
It would be a bold move by Powell to reject someone with as much talent as Kolbe, who scored six tries in 16 league appearances for Toulouse en route to their record-extending 20th Top 14 title.
“It’s been a phenomenal season, not just for me but for my club and for my country, winning the Top 14, The Rugby Championship and then World Cup in one year I’m really blessed,” Kolbe said.
“I couldn’t have done this without all my team-mates. I give credit to all of them because if they didn’t create opportunities for me as a winger to finish off I wouldn’t be standing here now.”
The Blitzbokke will get their 2019/20 World Series campaign underway in Dubai on December 6 in what will start the final countdown before the Tokyo Olympics gets underway on July 24.
Before then, though, Kolbe will be focused on on his commitments with Toulouse, who are currently languishing in eighth position in the Top 14, but remain unbeaten from their opening two matches in the Champions Cup.
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