Siya Kolisi’s Historic Appointment from Township Dreams to Springboks’ Captain

South African rugby player, Siya Kolisi, has officially been named the Springboks captain. Kolisi will make history next month as he becomes the second black captain of the national team, when the Springboks host England in South Africa.

The 26 year-old will captain the team for the three home test matches, while Pieter-Steph du Toit will lead the side against Wales in Washington.

Kolisi is not the first black player to captain the Springboks – that was former Sharks rugby hooker Mahlatse Chiliboy Ralepelle, who became the first black player, and the youngest, when he led the Springboks against the World Team in Leicester in 2006.

Multi-talented Kolisi has been selected for his proven leadership qualities – he is already the captain of the Stormers, which competes in the Super Rugby Cup.

Springboks Head Coach Rassie Erasmus has known Kolisi since he was a youngster, and feels confident in his appointment and ability to return the Springboks to being winners.

Kolisi has stood out from the rest since he was a child. Growing up under tough conditions in a township (Zwide) outside Port Elizabeth – where he and his poor family reportedly often went to sleep starving – Kolisi managed to impress scouts at a Mossel Bay tournament when he was only 12.

It changed the trajectory of his life forever.

Kolisi received a scholarship to attend Grey Junior in PE, and together with his hard work, he then attended Grey High School where he played for the first team rugby… and he hasn’t looked back since.

Today Springboks Head Coach Rassie Erasmus said, “It’s a huge honour to captain the Springboks and Siya and Pieter-Steph are two honest, hardworking men who enjoy the respect of their fellow players.”

He said: “I believe both of them will do a good job as captains. My philosophy is that each player must take responsibility for his position and must therefore work extremely hard with that one goal in mind — to make the Springboks successful again.”