Cheslin Kolbe. Picture: AFP/ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT
Cheslin Kolbe. Picture: AFP/ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT

Springbok World Cup hero Cheslin Kolbe says he would rather play against the British and Irish Lions in 2021 than in the Olympic Games.

The winger, whose try in the closing stages of the 2019 World Cup final in Japan sealed success against England, is likely to have a difficult choice in 2021 when the rearranged Tokyo Games clashes with the Lions tour of SA.

Kolbe, 26, would stand a strong chance of selection for the Blitzboks — the sevens side which will be among the gold medal favourites in Japan. He had previously said he would like to be selected. But now that there is a date clash, he has made clear his preference.

“It’s a tough decision but I would definitely choose taking on the British and Irish Lions,” he told the website Planet Rugby.

“Although I would love to play sevens for my country at the Tokyo Olympics, to be part of a Lions series is a goal I really want to achieve and I would like to be a part of that because it only happens every 12 years.

“Next year would be my only chance to face them, if I do get selected [for the Springboks], as I won’t be around for their next tour, so I would definitely go for that option,” he said.

Reuters