#TuesdayHIGH5: 5 Kolbe Sized International Players

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In the wake of the Stormer’s victory over the Sharks last Saturday, plenty was said about Cheslin Kolbe and how he could evade players in a shoebox.


Just the kind of skill set the Springboks could use.

But his size is a problem. Kolbe stands at 171 centimetres tall and weighs in at 72 kilograms – far below par for a modern fullback, with Nick Mallett suggesting a possible move to scrumhalf.

While we aren’t going to dwell too long on which position is right for Cheslin or whether he deserves to be a Bok at this stage or not – we thought we would take a closer look at a couple of the other smaller guys of rugby and how they never let size get in the way of a successful international career.

5) Jason Robinson

English winger Jason Robinson reacts aft

Position: Fullback/Wing

Height: 1.73

Weight 81

Caps: 51

Tries: 28

Jason Robinson played across both codes and quickly developed a reputation for his speed and his ability to evade defenders.

4) Shane Williams


Position: Wing

Height: 170

Weight: 80

Caps: 87

Tries: 58

Shane Williams is probably the best player Wales ever had. While he was “blits” – as they say in the republic – his biggest talent was his ability to show up at the right time and place and score tries as a result.

3) Aaron Smith


Position: Scrumhalf

Height: 171

Weight: 85

Caps: 38

Tries: 11

Smith is a scrumhalf and as a result is allowed to be small. What he lacks in height however he makes up for in bulk and skill and has had little trouble in bedding down the starting no.9 role at the All Blacks.

2) Breyton Paulse


Position: Wing

Height: 178

Weight: 80

Caps: 64

Tries: 26

While we’re now more accustomed to seeing Breytie as a SuperSport analyst, he was once a speedy wing with a killer aerobics celebration routine.

1) Gio Aplon


Position: Wing/Fullback

Height: 175

Weight: 78

Caps: 17

Tries: 5

Another player with proverbial jet shoes is “Appies”. Much like Kolbe, he was deadly with time and space. Currently plying his trade in France, chances are good that he will one day return to SA to finish out his career.


There you have it – five small players with massive talent that any coach would love to have on their team. Anyone else you can think of? As always, we dig your opinions so hit us with a comment or drop us a tweet @leftbacks.

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