Springboks

Stick on Siya: I'd be in tears if I wasn't a coach

2018-05-30 08:34
Siya Kolisi (Gallo)

Johannesburg - Springbok assistant coach Mzwandile Stick remembers the first piece of advice he ever gave to new national captain Siya Kolisi.

It was all the way back in 2010, when Kolisi had just arrived in Cape Town to start his new journey with Western Province. 

The first meeting between the two came at the Western Province Rugby Institute in Stellenbosch, where Stick was still working with the national Sevens set-up. 

"He is someone that I've followed since a young age. I have mentored him," Stick said of Kolisi.

"I remember the day when he came to the Institute in Stellenbosch to join Western Province and I was there with the Sevens.

"One of the first things I told him ... I said: 'You know Siya, you are only in Stellenbosch for rugby. There is a lot of stuff happening around Stellenbosch and it's a student town, so if you're going to be on the streets too much that chances are you will lose what you've got now.'"

As it turns out, the young Kolisi would not get caught up in the party life, staying grounded as he began to manufacture a career that, this week, has reached new heights. 

"Siya has a proper head on his shoulders. When I heard that he was going to be the captain of the Springboks, the first black captain, it's something that has been coming," said Stick.

"I think he's got what it takes and when it comes to his leadership skills, we don't doubt them at all."

Stick acknowledged that, rugby aside, the appointment made him proud to be South African.

"It's such a great honour, not only for Siya's family or us in this Springbok team, but it's such a great thing for South Africa," he said.

"If I was not in the position that I am currently, I would probably be in tears sitting on the couch thinking about the way that Siya is getting this opportunity."

Kolisi will lead the Boks in three Tests against England, starting on June 9. 

Pieter-Steph du Toit, meanwhile, will also captain the Boks for the first time when they take on Wales in Washington DC this Saturday. 

Kick-off is at 23:00 (SA time).  

Read more on:    springboks  |  mzwandile stick  |  siya kolisi  |  rugby
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