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Siya Kolisi Retains Springboks Captaincy

  • June 26, 2024
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Siya Kolisi Retains Springboks Captaincy

Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus confirmed on Wednesday that two-time World Cup-winning captain Siya Kolisi will retain the captain’s armband for the upcoming Castle Lager Incoming Series.

This ends speculation that Kolisi, who plays for French club Racing 92, would be replaced by a locally-based captain.

“Siya will be the captain and will again wear the No. 6 jersey,” Erasmus stated. “He’s fit and healthy.”

Kolisi became the second player to captain the nation to win the Rugby World Cup titles on the trot after All Blacks captain Ritchie McCaw.

Erasmus, whose side are hosting a tantalising two test matches against Ireland next month, also addressed injury concerns following the Springboks’ 41-13 victory against Wales this past weekend. “Where we are currently standing with injuries is that Cheslin (Kolbe) has been cleared to play, and we’ll manage Edwill (van der Merwe), Faf (de Klerk), and (Makazole) Mapimpi this week, although they should be available for selection for the first Ireland Test,” said Erasmus. 

The coach added that wing Canan Moodie, who recently underwent finger surgery, could potentially rejoin the national team within the next few weeks.

With the 39-man squad announcement on Tuesday including several inexperienced players and four potential debutants, Erasmus emphasized the importance of building squad depth for the 2027 Rugby World Cup in Australia.

Erasmus discussed the selection of Jan-Hendrik Wessels, a young player who can play both prop and hooker. “We earmarked Jan-Hendrik Wessels from our Elite Player Development (EPD) system from under 15 level, when he was playing prop then,” said Erasmus. “We don’t have control over where the franchises select the players, but with him being able to play hooker and prop it offers us additional options among the forwards.”

Erasmus elaborated on other selections: “Johan Grobbelaar was also one of the stand-out hookers in the Vodacom United Rugby Championship this season for the Vodacom Bulls, while Sacha (Feinberg-Mngomezulu) has also come through the ranks, and he has been part of our structures before with the SA ‘A’ team and he understands our systems and slotted in with ease. We are a at a stage where we are trying to expose players to the Springbok environment as much as possible. 

The coach highlighted ongoing efforts to expose players to the Springbok environment. “We had four new capped players against Wales, and we have four debutants in this squad – Phepsi Buthelezi, Jan-Hendrik Wessels, Johan Grobbelaar and Morne van den Berg – and there could be a few more against Portugal if we achieve our goals against Ireland, so we could have a healthy new crop of national players later in this season.” 

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