Cheslin Kolbe could step up to wear the Springbok No. 10. Image: X/Twitter

Kolbe is a surprise Springbok flyhalf contender – Find out why!

Discover how Cheslin Kolbe could emerge as the Springboks’ surprise flyhalf solution amidst a selection crisis.


Cheslin Kolbe could step up to wear the Springbok No. 10. Image: X/Twitter

The Springboks are grappling with a unique selection challenge ahead of their opening Test against Wales. With several key players unavailable, the possibility of Cheslin Kolbe stepping into the flyhalf role is gaining traction, as initially reported by sarugbymag.

Unavailability Woes and Overlapping Commitments

The DHL Stormers and Vodacom Bulls are embroiled in a URC playoff battle, with the final scheduled for 22 June, the same day as South Africa’s first Test of 2024.

The Test falls outside the official window, making players based in the UK, Ireland, and France unavailable for selection.

This situation affects key players such as Leicester-based Handre Pollard and Stormers playmaker Manie Libbok, who are likely to be among the many players unavailable for the Springboks.

This list may also include props Steven Kitshoff and Frans Malherbe, locks RG Snyman and Jean Kleyn, loose forwards Marco van Staden, Jasper Wiese, and Siya Kolisi, scrumhalf Cobus Reinach, wings Canan Moodie and Kurt-Lee Arendse, and fullback Willie le Roux.

Japan-based Players: A Silver Lining

However, Japan-based players will be available for selection. This means World Cup winners Faf de Klerk, Lood de Jager, Damian de Allende, Jesse Kriel, and Pieter-Steph du Toit could join Cheslin Kolbe in the squad to face Wales.

The Flyhalf Puzzle and Kolbe’s Potential Role

The absence of Pollard and Libbok, the two specialist flyhalves in the squad that clinched the World Cup in 2023, poses a conundrum for coach Rassie Erasmus.

However, Erasmus is known for his innovative strategies and bold decisions, such as preparing Cheslin Kolbe as the backup scrumhalf in the team that took on the All Blacks in the World Cup final in Paris.

Kolbe’s Flyhalf Experience and Other Possible Candidates

Cheslin Kolbe and Faf de Klerk both have experience playing flyhalf and could step up to wear the Springbok No 10 jersey if needed. Other potential candidates include Sanele Nohamba, who has been the Lions’ primary flyhalf this year, and Siya Masuku, who has been instrumental in the Sharks’ Challenge Cup campaign since his return from injury.

Esterhuizen: An Unexpected Option

Andre Esterhuizen, currently contracted to Harlequins but set to join the Sharks at the end of the Premiership season, is another player with the skills to fill in at No 10, providing an additional option for Erasmus.

As the Springboks navigate this unique situation, the rugby world is eagerly watching to see if Cheslin Kolbe could be the surprise solution to their flyhalf dilemma.