Sublime Springbok back three, led by Arendse, has coach gushing after Italian job

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Kurt-Lee Arendse (Getty)
Kurt-Lee Arendse (Getty)
  • Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber was impressed with his back three's output in Saturday's 63-21 win against Italy.
  • Four of the nine tries the Boks scored, including two assists, came from the back three.
  • Nienaber wasn't able to ascertain the extent of Cheslin Kolbe's injury, even though it won't affect selection for next week's England Test.

In Genoa

Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber showered lavish praise on his back three, especially Kurt-Lee Arendse, after his team's comprehensive 63-21 win against Italy in Genoa on Saturday.

Four of the Boks' nine tries were scored by the back three, with Arendse scoring a brace and providing an assist for the last try scored by Cobus Reinach.

Arendse scored with his first touch of the ball in the second minute while Cheslin Kolbe limped off with what looked like a hamstring injury after scoring a wonderful try.

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Damian Willemse, who shifted to wing when Manie Libbok came on for Kolbe, also scored.

Nienaber said the growing depth in the back three department was outstanding, especially with the absences of Makazole Mapimpi (who wasn't in the match-day 23) and the injured Canan Moodie.

"I think they were outstanding today, especially Kurt-Lee," Nienaber said.

"We've got some exciting outside backs and you can also measure Mapimps in there. We've had a good group that's developed over this year, and you also have to factor in Canan Moodie.

"We've got nice competition there and there's also Sbu Nkosi, but I thought tonight, they got the balance right in terms of asking questions of the defence and exploiting space at the back."

Nienaber wasn't sure about the extent of Kolbe's injury, even though it doesn't affect the Boks from a selection perspective next week.

The Bok Test against England at Twickenham next week falls outside of the World Rugby Test window, meaning France and England-based players won't be available.

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Kolbe, who plays for Toulon in France, wasn't going to play next week.

"I don't know right now, but I think it’s a hammy. I still need to talk to the doctor," Nienaber said.

"During the game when I saw the injury, it may have been a soft tissue injury."

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