Springboks

Kolisi's heart-felt words to Bok debutants

2018-06-09 08:20
Siya Kolisi (Gallo)

Cape Town - Springbok captain Siya Kolisi has given a heart-felt message of advice to the three youngsters who will make their Test debuts against England in Johannesburg on Saturday. 

While it is a massive day for Kolisi as he becomes the first black man to captain the Boks in a Test, it will also be a special moment for Aphiwe Dyantyi, Sbu Nkosi and RG Snyman as they run out in Bok colours for the first time. 

And while the magnitude of the occassion is undeniable, Kolisi used his own experiences to give the three newbies some words of encouragement.

"What I would tell the guys is just to enjoy themselves," Kolisi said on Friday.

"You are put in here for a reason because there is something special in you. You must just use that.

"When get the opportunity we tend to go into our shells, but what coach Rassie (Erasmus) has told us to do is to be yourself within the system and do what makes you different from everybody else."

Kolisi spoke about his own Test debut and he remembers just how daunting it can be. It came five years ago against Scotland in Nelspruit when Kolisi was just 21.

"I remember everything about my debut ... every single thing. I remember I was sitting on the bench and I wasn't looking at the game at the time, I was drinking water," Kolisi explained.

"I was very nervous and someone said: 'Siya, you must get up. Someone is down'. It was five minutes into the game and they told me to warm up. I told them I didn't need to warm up, I put my gum guard on and I run on.

"Coach Johan van Graan pulled me aside and told me to just forget everything, because I had been struggling in the week with getting to know everything.

"For some reason the ball came to me all day and I just ran. Having a big guy like Eben who grabbed me with these hands that covered my whole head helped, and having Bryan Habana and Jean de Villiers.

"It was a tough game. We were behind and I came on and they kept on scoring.

"I remember Jean de Villiers said at half-time that we had to score first in the second half if we were going to win this game, and they scored first. Then he started laughing, and I was panicking."

"He told me afterwards that he couldn't show me how much he was panicking ... that he had to stay calm."

The Boks went on to win that match 30-17, and Kolisi would give just about anything to ensure the same result on Saturday. 

Kick-off is at 17:05.

Teams:

South Africa 

15 Willie le Roux, 14 Sbu Nkosi, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Aphiwe Dyantyi, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Jean-Luc du Preez, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 Franco Mostert, 4 RG Snyman, 3 Trevor Nyakane/Wilco Louw, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Tendai Mtawarira

Substitutes: 16 Akker van der Merwe, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Wilco Louw/Thomas du Toit, 19 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 20 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 21 Ivan van Zyl, 22 Elton Jantjies, 23 Warrick Gelant

England 

15 Elliot Daly, 14 Jonny May, 13 Henry Slade, 12 Owen Farrell (captain), 11 Mike Brown, 10 George Ford, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Billy Vunipola, 7 Tom Curry, 6 Chris Robshaw, 5 Nick Isiekwe, 4 Maro Itoje, 3 Kyle Sinckler, 2 Jamie George, 1 Mako Vunipola

Substitutes: 16 Luke Cowan-Dickie, 17 Joe Marler, 18 Harry Williams, 19 Brad Shields, 20 Nathan Hughes, 21 Ben Spencer, 22 Piers Francis, 23 Denny Solomona

Read more on:    springboks  |  siya kolisi  |  johannesburg  |  rugby
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