PARIS – Springbok wing Cheslin Kolbe has made his parents’ lifelong dream a reality by making it possible for them to come watch him in action at the Rugby World Cup in France.
Andrew and Millicent Kolbe (pictured above) will be sitting in the stands at the Stade de France in Saint Denis on Saturday watching their son representing South Africa when they tackle the world number one ranked team Ireland in a top of the table Pool B clash.
Kolbe says it will mean a lot to him to have his parents present on the day because besides his mom, his dad has never been overseas.
“It’s obviously massive for me for them to come over here to support me. If I do get some time to spend with them this week, I will obviously do so, but the focus, however, is just to prepare as well as can for this week,” said the Bok star winger.
For Andrew, who was a brilliant player for Hands & Heart and Tygerberg in his heyday, it’s a dream come true to see his son in action at rugby’s biggest showpiece.
“It’s an indescribable feeling. It’s Cheslin’s second World Cup but it still feels as if it’s his first one especially for people who come from a community like Kraaifontein,” said Andrew.
“It’s a tremendous honour for someone to represent their country and we as parents and a community are extremely proud of him, especially with all the things that are currently going on in our communities. It gives the youngsters hope and I take my hat off to those who still show an interest in sport. It’s an ideal way to keep them away from all the wrong stuff.
“We as parents will always support him. It will be the first time that I will see him in action at a world Cup…what a privilege. Cheslin said it might be his last World Cup and for me to attend it with my wife is a massive privilege and it’s something that I will always remember.”
Andrew believes Cheslin can add terrific value to the Springbok’s World Cup campaign because of his experience of playing in France. Since 2017 the former Stormers pocket-rocket has played in 82 games for Toulouse and represented Toulon 21 times.
“Yes, he said he will be the tour guide.
“I think he has an advantage over the other players because he played in France for a while and half of the French team were his teammates. We can use this as an ace up our sleeves because of the insight that he has of the players and the conditions.”
Cheslin’s mother, Millicent is extremely proud of what her son has achieved. The Kolbe’s will be arriving in France on 20 September and will stay there until 1 October. If the Boks advance to the quarterfinals and semi-finals, they could stay longer.
Besides watching her son play, Millicent is particularly looking forward to spending time with her grandchildren.
“It will be a pleasure because I haven’t seen them much. We only see them when they come to South Africa. It will therefore be great to support Cheslin as a family,” she says.
Like any mother, Millicent is concerned about the welfare of her son, especially when it comes to injuries.
“You always pray that nothing happens. But it’s something that a parent always worries about. However, it’s part of the game … one has to accept it and we are confident that Cheslin will have a successful tournament,” she adds.