Rugby World Cup winner Cheslin Kolbe is fast becoming the most versatile player on the planet after his performance at fly-half at the weekend.
The Springbok winger started at No10 for Toulouse against Racing 92 in the Top 14 on Sunday and he impressed many in a narrow 30-27 loss.
With some of the most dangerous feet in the game, there was never any doubt that the 26-year-old was going to cause havoc in the middle of the field at fly-half, but there is a huge amount more required of that position.
However, his pass for Pita Ahki’s try was a glimpse of his vision as a half-back and a sign that he does not simply pose a threat as a runner, but as a distributor too.
— Basheer Omardien (@the_bash_factor) February 16, 2020
Cheslin Kolbe is a better goal kicker than Bauden Barrett
— Liam Gordon-Turner (@liam_gordont) February 16, 2020
However, it was his kicking display that received the most attention as it caught many fans off guard.
After scrum-half Sebastien Bezy went off with a head injury, the South African took on the kicking responsibilities for the team, amassing ten points through two penalties and two conversions.
What can Cheslin Kolbe not do??
— Ndips (@NdipzZingani) February 16, 2020
He's had a much better game at 10 than Russell…
— Jack Counsell (@JackCounsell) February 16, 2020
Of these kicks, one was a 48-metre penalty and one was a touchline conversion, as Kolbe showed that he has many strings to his bow.
It is one thing being asked to play at fly-half, but it is another to kick so impressively, particularly when very few were aware he was capable of it.
What can't Kolbe do on a rugby pitch? Even did well at scrumhalf last year ? https://t.co/eznH5IbIMn
— Sagheer Osman?? (@sagheerosman) February 17, 2020
Stade Francais’ Pablo Matera and Yoann Maestri also in there too after the Parisians’ added-time win over La Rochelle pic.twitter.com/0y0fmpHUq6
— Illtud W. Dafydd (@IlltudDafydd) February 17, 2020
Cheslin Kolbe at 10 for Toulouse v Racing 92 ?
? Passes ?
3? Defenders beaten ?
1? Offload ?
1?7? Running metres ?
1? Missed tackle??
1? Try Assist??
? Points?#SaffasAbroad pic.twitter.com/imKhAyKBrK
— Jared Wright (@jaredwright17) February 17, 2020
Such was his display that he earned a place in the Top 14 team of the week and his stock as a rugby player has only risen. Accomplished across the back three, Kolbe can also play at scrum-half, so can now cover five positions across the back line.
He has even packed down at No8 for Toulouse in the past, although they were for one-off set moves, exploiting his explosive pace from the base of the scrum.
With so many players on international duty, this was a risk which Toulouse felt had to be made and Kolbe’s excursion in a new position has potential.
WATCH: Schalk Brits speaks to RugbyPass about his experiences bringing the William Webb Ellis trophy back to South Africa
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