Siya Kolisi will lead the Springboks as they look to win the bring back the William Webb Ellis trophy from Japan next year.

And while this is every rugby player’s dream, Kolisi admits that captaining the Springboks is as tough a job as you can get.

As coach Rassie Erasmus puts it: “There are still some people who would love to see the Boks fail; some people still upset about the past.

“Siya [Kolisi] doesn’t get positive feedback everywhere he goes.”

Kolisi admits that because he is not one for the limelight, to captain the country is a tough adjustment.

DEEP FRIENDSHIP: Springbok teammate Eben Etzebeth. Photo: NIC BOTHMA/EPA

Kolisi told the Daily Mirror ahead of last weekend’s Barbarians match against Argentina at Twickenham: “It is tough, you carry the weight of the whole country.

“And after the England series [in June], I won’t lie, I was drained.

“My face was on every newspaper - and I’m not that kind of person. I’m shy, I keep myself to myself. But I understand how big a deal it is.

“That it has given hope to kids from a similar background to me that can now say ‘we can be like that’ - people, black and white, who had been told they could and would never make it.

“Never in a million years could I have dreamt of getting the opportunity to become Springbok captain. Where I come from, you dream of being a taxi driver.”


Kolisi reveals his friendship with fellow Stormer and Springbok Eben Etzebeth is an example of what he’d like South Africa to look like.

He explains: “Tata [former president Nelson Mandela] wanted everyone to be equal, to have the same opportunities, to get along.

“And while life is still challenging and not everything has changed, we are getting there. That’s what I want people to see from our rugby team.

“One of my best friends is Eben Etzebeth. We come from two different backgrounds, he’s Afrikaans and I’m Xhosa, but we get along. That’s the South Africa we want.”

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