Kolbe hails Rassie's influence: 'He cares so much about the Boks'

Kolbe hails Rassie's influence: 'He cares so much about the Boks'

Cheslin Kolbe has spoken highly of South Africa's sometimes-controversial Director of Rugby Rassie Erasmus, describing him as an "incredible human".

Speaking to the Telegraph Rugby Podcast in England, Kolbe leapt to the defence of Erasmus' character when asked about his most recent suspension from World Rugby for posting videos on Twitter highlighting Wayne Barnes' refereeing decisions.

"It just shows you how much he cares about the Springboks and about South Africa," Kolbe said.

"He just wants the boys and the team to be treated fairly, and he would go out of his way to make sure that is the case. He's very passionate about his rugby, and I am sure each and every person will know that by now. That's just who Coach Rassie is.

"He's just an incredible human on and off the field. I've gotten to know Coach Rassie since I started playing [for the Springboks] in 2018, but just his sense of the game, his thinking, is out of this world. I haven't been part of a team where the coaching has so much detail, and that much thought goes into preparation and the way you see and analyse other teams.

"I take my hat off to coach Rassie for coming in at such a difficult time and turning a lot around in quite a short period of time leading into the World Cup in 2019.

"He's a fantastic coach to play under and just a phenomenal human off the field, too. He cares a lot about the players, their health, their families and just wanting the best for them. Everyone knows that the ban he got was for the players, for the Springboks at the time. He's a good guy to have on your side."

Kolbe was also asked about the possibility of the Boks joining the Six Nations, and said it would be "amazing" if it happens.

Since South Africa's top four franchises departed Super Rugby to join the European-based United Rugby Championship, rumours have swirled that the Boks could follow suit and join the Six Nations.

"I think if it does happen, it would be massive and change the whole scenario regarding the Six Nations," Kolbe said.

"For the Springboks, it would be amazing to be part of the Six Nations. You get to play against top countries each and week when you're part of that competition. It would be amazing if it comes off one day, but who knows."