siya kolisi injury
Siya Kolisi suffers another injury. Photo: Backpagepix

Home » Springboks captain: Who will come after Siya Kolisi?

Springboks captain: Who will come after Siya Kolisi?

Siya Kolisi has admitted being based overseas could cost him the Springbok captaincy. So who might be next in line to take over?

04-04-24 10:16
siya kolisi injury
Siya Kolisi suffers another injury. Photo: Backpagepix

Siya Kolisi has established himself as one of the most iconic Springbok captains of all time, having led the team to two World Cup titles and a British & Irish Lions series win.

However, following on from the 2023 Rugby World Cup, Kolisi opted to head to France to join Racing 92, and it has thrown a cloud of doubt over whether he will retain the Springbok leadership.

Coach Rassie Erasmus has openly admitted it is a preference to have a locally-based captain who would be more regularly available for meetings and alignment camps.


Speaking to media in France, Kolisi said he knew that this was always a possibility when he headed overseas.

“That’s normal. I knew that before making the decision to come here,” Kolisi told reporters on Wednesday. “He [Erasmus] speaks and he says this is the situation, it is what it is, there’s nothing I can do about that.”


Bongi Mbonambi

The burly hooker is probably the frontrunner considering he effectively served as the vice-captain during the World Cup, and stepped in as the skipper when Kolisi wasn’t playing.

Mbonambi is massively respected within the Springbok team, and Erasmus has already admitted he is one of his ‘favourites’.

Eben Etzebeth

Kolisi’s best mate may well be the man to take over the captaincy armband. Etzebeth is vastly experienced and has captained the Springboks in the past.

The powerful lock has the full respect of teammates and opponents, and he certainly wouldn’t be out of place as captain.

Lukhanyo Am

The centre has captaincy experience at the Sharks, and could be ready to take on this additional responsibility at Springbok level.

Am is very quietly spoken, rather letting actions speak louder than words, although a factor that can’t be overlooked is the fact that his starting position in the team isn’t guaranteed after Jesse Kriel took hold of the No 13 jersey last year.

Handre Pollard

The experienced flyhalf has been part of the Springboks’ wider leadership team for some time, but there haven’t been many occasions when he has served as the designated captain from the beginning of a Test.

It’s unlikely Pollard would be a leading candidate to take over from Kolisi, but he is a capable back-up option nonetheless.

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