Super Rugby

Kolbe has the 'fight' Stormers need

Cheslin Kolbe (Gallo)
Cheslin Kolbe (Gallo)

Cape Town - The Stormers will need to show a lot of fight if they are to be successful against the Hurricanes in Wellington on Friday and nobody has more of that than Cheslin Kolbe.

That is the view of Stormers head coach Robbie Fleck, who has backed the 23-year-old on the wing once again for what promises to be an extremely difficult challenge for the Capetonians.

The Stormers have conceded 17 tries in the two matches of their New Zealand tour so far after going down 57-24 to the Crusaders and then 57-14 to the Highlanders.

Defence has been a major concern, which has led to pundits questioning the size of the Stormers wing duo of Cheslin Kolbe and Dillyn Leyds in comparison to their far heavier Kiwi opposition. 

Leyds, who has been in superb form this season with ball-in-hand, is around 1.85m tall while Kolbe is 1.71m tall.

It prompted Fleck, who is expecting a lot of dangerous attacking kicks from the Hurricanes, to consider the inclusion of Bjorn Basson (1.85m) on the wing on Friday. 

But in Kolbe, Fleck has a player who he trusts and somebody who he will be hoping can pick up the players around him when things get tough.

"That was part of our consideration," Fleck said of starting Basson.

"They boot it to their wingers a lot and look for a lot of attacking kicks in spaces behind.

"I just like the creativity of Cheslin. He has been around for some time and I just like the way he plays with his heart on his sleeve.

"That's what we need this game ... some guys who are going to stand up when the chips are down and be counted regardless of what the options are that the opposition will bring.

"It's a game where we're going to need a lot of fight and Cheslin, for me, personifies that.

"Dillyn Leyds is playing outstanding rugby as well, so there are enough options there for us. We've got Bjorn on the bench and he can play a role for us later in the game."

The Stormers have lost their last three Super Rugby matches but are still comfortably on top of Africa Conference 1, 12 points ahead of the Bulls in second but having played a game more. 

Kick-off on Friday is at 09:35. 



15 Jordie Barrett, 14 Cory Jane, 13 Vince Aso, 12 Ngani Laumape, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 TJ Perenara (captain), 8 Ardie Savea, 7 Callum Gibbins, 6 Brad Shields, 5 Vaea Fifita, 4 Mark Abbott, 3 Jeffery To'omaga-Allen, 2 Ricky Riccitelli, 1 Ben May

Substitutes: 16 Leni Apisai, 17 Chris Eves, 18 Mike Kainga, 19 James Blackwell, 20 Reed Prinsep, 21 Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, 22 Otere Black, 23 Ben Lam


15 SP Marais, 14 Cheslin Kolbe, 13 EW Viljoen, 12 Shaun Treeby, 11 Dillyn Leyds, 10 Robert du Preez, 9 Dewaldt Duvenage, 8 Nizaam Carr, 7 Siya Kolisi (captain), 6 Kobus van Dyk, 5 Chris van Zyl, 4 Jan de Klerk, 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Ali Vermaak

Substitutes: 16 Ramone Samuels, 17 Caylib Oosthuizen, 18 Oli Kebble, 19 JD Schickerling, 20 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 21 Jano Vermaak, 22 Dan Kriel, 23 Bjorn Basson

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