Experienced Springbok flyer excited to play in his first Test in Johannesburg

Cheslin Kolbe Springboks training 2023 - PA.jpg Credit: Alamy

Cheslin Kolbe Springboks training 2023 – PA.jpg Credit: Alamy

Experienced flyer Cheslin Kolbe is relishing the opportunity of being named in the Springboks’ matchday squad for Saturday’s Test against Argentina in Johannesburg.

Kolbe is looking forward to the Rugby Championship encounter and is eager to be included in the Boks’ matchday squad as it will be a momentous occasion if he is selected to take on Los Pumas.

First Test appearance in Johannesburg

An excited Kolbe, who has represented South Africa in 24 Tests since his debut against Australia in Brisbane in 2018, revealed that if he is picked for Saturday’s Test it will be first appearance in the green and gold at Emirates Airline Park.

“I’ve never played at Emirates Airline Park as a Springbok, so if I get the opportunity to play, it would be fantastic,” said Kolbe. “The atmosphere at the stadium is electric and we’d love it if people come out in numbers and support us.

“It’s our last home game before we leave for the World Cup, so it would be special to play in front of a passionate crowd.”

After two rounds of a truncated Rugby Championship, the Springboks are in second place in the standings behind table-toppers New Zealand, while Argentina and Australia occupy third and fourth positions respectively.

The 29-year-old, who will be joining Japanese Rugby League One side Suntory Sungoliath after the 2023 World Cup in France, expects a tough challenge from Los Pumas and said their backs will be dangerous.

“The aerial contest and battle for dominance is going to be big,” said Kolbe. “Argentina showed in their last two matches what they can do, and with players in their backline that have played on the Sevens circuit, they’ll pose challenges.”

Springbok assistant coach Deon Davids echoed Kolbe’s sentiments and said they are preparing for a huge onslaught from the South American outfit.

“Argentina are a team that play with a lot of pride, and they don’t go away,” he said.

“They fought until the end against Australia and earned the win, and against New Zealand, they started slowly, but went on to win the second half. So, it’s going to be a grind from the start, but we have to be accurate and play in the right areas of the field.”

Zooming in on their strengths, Davids added: “They have a massive set piece, and they have extreme speedsters in the backline, so if you concede possession against them it could count against you.”

Meanwhile, Bok tighthead prop Frans Malherbe also spoke highly of Los Pumas, especially their forwards.

“They are a physical side that keep playing for the full 80 minutes,” he said. “They also have a big scrummaging culture, so we have to be ready for that.”

Keen to return to the victory trail

Davids said the Boks did some introspection after their 35-20 loss against the All Blacks in Auckland in their previous match and they were determined to bounce back strongly against Argentina.

“We had a thorough look at our performance against New Zealand and we need to be better across the board – that will be our main drive going into this match,” he said.

“We have a quality squad, and we believe in the players. I don’t think a team can become poor after one performance. Looking forward, we believe we have the right plans in place, and we know what we want to achieve.”

READ MORE: Predicting the Springboks side that will face Argentina in their Rugby Championship clash

The article Experienced Springbok flyer excited to play in his first Test in Johannesburg appeared first on Planetrugby.com.

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