An electrifying player on attack, Kolbe is a nightmare for any defence.
Brought up in Kraaifontein, Kolbe grew up playing on the streets with gunshots and gangs a normal part of life. The pocket rocket speedster could have easily gone down that route had it not been for rugby.
Kolbe's father, Andrew, played local rugby in the town, which gave young Cheslin a role model and a routine. Attending Brackenfell High School he represented Western Province at youth level playing in both the Grant Khomo and Craven Week before securing a contract with the senior side.
In only his first year out of school, he represented the South African Sevens team and went on to have an even bigger year in 2013 when the utility back starred for the SA Under-20s, the SA Sevens team, featured on the bench for the Stormers and played in the Currie Cup final for Western Province. He was a consistent selection in the WP and Stormers teams from then on.
2016 saw Kolbe get inclusion into the 12-man Blitzbok squad for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, where he was named as a substitute for their first match against Spain, with the South Africa winning the match 24–0.
2017 started on a good note for Kolbe as the fullback was signed by Top 14 side, Toulouse for their 2017/18 campaign. He enjoyed a successful start to his time in France scoring 9 tries in his first 23 games for the side. Kolbe was called up to the Springbok squad ahead of their Rugby Championship matches Australia and New Zealand.
He made his test debut off the bench against Australia in Brisbane before scoring his first test try in the Springboks' historic win over the All Blacks in Wellington a week later. He was named in the starting line up for the time to face the Wallabies in Port Elizabeth. Having helped the Springboks win the Rugby Championship in 2019, Kolbe was named in the Rugby World Cup squad.
He became the second South African to score a try in a Rugby World Cup final, following Makazole Mapimpi who scored in the same game as South Africa beat England 32-12 to win the World Cup for a third time. He was instrumental to the Boks’ World Cup-winning campaign and walked away with the Top 14 Player of the Year award, Best Try of the Season and was also voted the Best Top 14 Player at the World Cup, beating Fijian star Semi Radradra of Bordeaux-Begles and Clermont Auvergne’s Damian Penaud.
Kolbe helped Toulouse to a European double in 2020/21 starting both the Champions Cup and Top 14 Final, slotting a drop goal in the latter.
He was selected for the Springboks' 46-man squad for the 2021 series against the British & Irish Lions and turned out for the South Africa A team who managed a 17-13 victory over Warren Gatland's charges. Kolbe secured another top title in 2021 as he helped Toulouse secure their first Champions Cup trophy in a decade. He won the award for the try of the competition for his score against Ulster in round one.
He scored a fantastic try, reminisce of his 2019 Rugby World Cup Final try, against the British and Irish Lions in the third test as the Springboks won the Series 2-1.
Following the Series, Kolbe signed a three-year contract with Toulon with the club reportedly paying €1.8 million to buy him out of his remaining two years of his contract with Toulouse. He will reportedly earn €1million a season at Toulon.
His four years at Toulouse saw him win three trophies (1x Champions Cup, 2x Top 14 titles) with the speedster representing the club 82 times scoring 31 tries and amassing 172 points.
In his 2 years at Toulon, Kolbe started frustratingly with a couple of injuries and went on to play 13 matches in his first season scoring 4 tries. In his second and final season (22-23) for Toulon he managed to play 18 matches scoring 6 tries including a crucial try in the Challenge Cup final to help Toulon win a trophy in 2023.
In June 2023, Kolbe signed for Japanese team Suntory Sungoliath and will play in the Japanese Rugby League One competition.
Ahead of the Rugby World Cup 2023, Kolbe has been named in the South African training squad.
|Brackenfell High School
|2018 - present
|2023 - present
|South Africa U20's
|South Africa 7's
|2014 - 2016
|2013 - 2017
|2013 - 2017
|2017 - 2021
|South Africa A
|2021 - 2021
|2021 - 2023