Ireland legend heaps praise on Cheslin Kolbe: 'He is like an Energiser Bunny'

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Toulouse winger Cheslin Kolbe on the charge against Bordeaux Begles, with scrumhalf Antoine Dupont in support. (Photo by Lionel Hahn/Getty Images)
Toulouse winger Cheslin Kolbe on the charge against Bordeaux Begles, with scrumhalf Antoine Dupont in support. (Photo by Lionel Hahn/Getty Images)

Legendary former Ireland centre Brian O'Driscoll has heaped praise on Springbok wing Cheslin Kolbe, who was instrumental in helping Toulouse reach the European Champions Cup final over the weekend.

Toulouse beat fellow Top 14 club Bordeaux 21-9 at the Stade Ernest-Wallon to book their spot in the final against La Rochelle at Twickenham on 22 May.

While Kolbe didn't get on the scoresheet, he again showed his prowess with a few trademark sidesteps.

In total, Kolbe made 69 metres from six carries and two line-breaks.

O'Driscoll, who played 133 Tests for Ireland, said on BT Sport that Kolbe's side-stepping ability was "frightening".

"He is like an Energiser Bunny. It just feels as though [his step] can come off of either side. Owen Farrell knows in the World Cup final he came off his right foot the same way, so it is frightening what he can do," O'Driscoll said.

"You need those sorts of players in big moments; just like Dupont is turning up for the big occasion, he turns up to create little snippets," O'Driscoll added, also referring to scrumhalf Antoine Dupont who was equally instrumental for Toulouse.

"Even if nothing comes of it, [it is there] for us to ogle and love and enjoy and get us watching the next game he is going to play in."

O'Driscoll was also asked to compare Kolbe's side-stepping to that of another nippy winger, former Wales international Shane Williams.

Kolbe and Williams are both in the region of 1.70m and weigh around the 80kg mark which is diminutive for modern rugby standards.

But O'Driscoll said Kolbe was a better side-stepper.

"Shane Williams was a left-foot step. The problem was if you waited for it on the inside he burnt you on the outside. He didn't have double feet like Cheslin Kolbe has."

Toulouse will go in search of a record-breaking fifth European title when they tackle La Rochelle, with organisers saying they were planning to allow 10 000 fans at the Twickenham clash.

The two teams are also the pace-setters in the French Top 14, with Toulouse leading the standings with 15 wins from 22 games (72 points). La Rochelle are in second position with 15 wins from 21 outings (67 points).

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