Kolisi remembers first hearing of Bok captaincy: My colour changed

2020-05-11 13:32
Siya Kolisi
Siya Kolisi (Getty Images)

Siya Kolisi has remembered what it was like hearing for the first time that he would be the captain of the Springboks.  

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The appointment was first made by coach Rassie Erasmus ahead of the three-match Test series against England in June, 2018, soon after he had taken the reins of the national side. 

In an Instagram live chat with former England cricketer and South African-born Kevin Pietersen on Monday, Kolisi remembered receiving the news in front of the entire Springbok squad. 

"We were sitting in a team meeting and Rassie announced that the captain for the first game, for the Wales game in America, would be Pieter-Steph and then: 'Siya will be the captain for the next three games.'

"Just like that, in front of everyone, no warning before.

"I just sat there and my colour changed.

"The guys were all saying, 'well done' and I was just looking at the coach and he had to say, 'are you alright?'

"It was crazy. I couldn't believe it."

Kolisi added that he had never grown up thinking about the possibility of leading the Boks, and that even after he had been made captain of the Stormers, the Bok captaincy wasn't a priority. 

"When I was kid it would have been crazy for me to think like that," he said. 

"To me, the most important thing was just to make the Springbok team, and it still is right now.

"Everything can get taken away, as long as I'm still walking around as part of the team, because I think that is one of the greatest honours."

Kolisi would go on to lead the Springboks to World Cup glory in Japan in 2019, becoming the third South African captain to lift the Webb Ellis Cup. 

- Compiled by Sport24 staff

Read more on:    springboks  |  siya kolisi  |  rugby


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