WATCH: ‘Humble’ Kolbe set for Toulouse return as Etzebeth arrives in France
But the towering, controversial lock will have to wait to make his French debut.
South Africa’s wing Cheslin Kolbe scores a try during the Japan 2019 Rugby World Cup final match between England and South Africa at the International Stadium Yokohama in Yokohama on November 2, 2019. Picture: Kazuhiro NOGI / AFP
South Africa’s Rugby World Cup winner Cheslin Kolbe plans to keep his feet on the ground as he is set to return to action with club Toulouse in the Top 14 this weekend.
Kolbe, 26, scored in the final as the Springboks lifted the Webb Ellis trophy for a third in Japan earlier this month to round off a year which included claiming The Rugby Championship the French domestic title for the side-stepping winger.
“Although winning a few trophies is special, I’ll remain the same person and just keep my feet on the ground,” Kolbe said earlier this week.
“You can easily go the other way or just stay humble. With the team-mates and the people I have around me it’s very humbling,” he added after accepting the Top 14’s player of the season award on Monday.
The week-long celebrations in the rainbow nation after the success in Yokohama included an open top bus tour around the republic.
“We want to give a lot of hope and unite the country because us as players we take some things for granted,” Kolbe said.
“Personally as a player I want to create as many memories on the field but much more off the field.
“If I can put a smile on the face of a young kid or an elderly lady or man, I’m really satisfied. I do this game to do the best I can but also to inspire the people,” he added.
Champions Toulouse welcome promoted Bayonne to Stade Ernest Wallon on Sunday and Kolbe is ready to make his first appearance of the campaign after missing 11 matches due to his international commitments.
“I’ve been available ever since I’ve landed. I’m injury free so whenever I’m selected I’ll be happy,” he said.
“If I do get selected I’ll just give the best I can on the field to respect the jersey,” he added.
Two of Kolbe’s fellow World Cup winners in Handre Pollard and Eben Etzebeth have joined him in the French top-flight this season but have yet to feature for their new clubs.
— RCT – RC Toulon (@RCTofficiel) November 28, 2019
Flyhalf Pollard is a doubt for Montpellier who host league leaders Lyon on Saturday as he recovers from a facial injury he suffered during the celebrations of the Bok victory.
Lock Etzebeth only arrived at three-time European champions Toulon on Thursday and will miss the weekend’s trip to Pau.