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Brian O’Driscoll argues that Cheslin Kolbe is a better stepper than Shane Williams


“He is like an Energiser Bunny.”

Brian O’Driscoll has described Cheslin Kolbe’s side-stepping ability as “frightening” after Toulouse booked their place in the Heineken Champions Cup final.

Toulouse came out on top in a low-scoring affair against Bordeaux-Begles at the Stade Ernest-Wallon, but the likes of Kolbe and Antoine Dupont did show moments of class in wet conditions.

Although Springbok winger Kolbe didn’t get on the scoresheet himself, he showed exactly why he is one of the most deadly attacking threats in rugby.

Former Leinster centre O’Driscoll was speaking on BT Sport after the match and praised the talent of the diminutive winger, in a sport that is often decided by strength, size and power.

Brian O’Driscoll on Cheslin Kolbe.

“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.

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

‘Shane Williams didn’t have double feet.’

Kolbe is often compared to former Wales and Ospreys winger Shane Williams, who possessed a similar array of talents, as well as a short stature.

The Welshman is regarded as one of the most exciting wingers in the history of modern rugby, and sits in fourth place on the list of the top try-scorers in the history of international rugby, with a tally of 60.


While Kolbe hasn’t been involved in test rugby enough at this stage in his career to get close to those numbers, O’Driscoll believes the South African is a better side-stepper than his former British and Irish Lions teammate.

“I am going to say yes!” O’Driscoll said when asked if he thinks Kolbe is a better side-stepper than Williams.

“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.”

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