Meet the man who led South Africa as they defeated England in Japan to win rugby union’s ultimate honor for the third time.
Siya Kolisi led the South African rugby union national team to a historic victory over England in Yokohama, Japan on Saturday, November 2, 2019. The occasion also marked the 28-year-old’s 50th Test match. Undoubtedly a day to remember for the man who rose to the top of his sport from very humble beginnings.
Former captain Francois Pienaar hoisted the sport’s biggest trophy at Ellis Park in 1995 with then-president Nelson Mandela alongside him, while John Smit did the same in 2007 at the Stade de France in Paris. Twelve years on and it’s the turn of Kolisi to walk that path – the first black test captain of the South African team.
GET TO KNOW
The dynamic and inspirational South African loose forward who leads the Springbok and Stormers rugby teams.
Here are a few interesting facts you might not know about him:
Kolisi remembers the 2007 event and what it did for the country back then. He watched the final at a tavern because he didn’t have a television at home.
Kolisi’s father traveled to Japan to watch his son play in the final this time – his first-ever trip abroad.
Kolisi made his debut for the senior Springbok side in June 2013 when, at the tender age of 21, he came on as a fifth-minute replacement for Arno Botha against Scotland and put in a man-of-the-match performance.
The loose forward is known for his blend of speed and power and is comfortable on both sides of the scrum.
In 2017, he became the captain of the Stormers – a Super Rugby franchise.
In 2018 Kolisi was named the captain of the national team, making history as the first black Test rugby captain in the 127-year history of South African rugby.
Off the field, Kolisi is passionate about using his platform as a professional athlete for positive change.
He explained: “You must never think your contribution is less than someone else’s. Everyone can do something good – no matter how small. I believe we need to stop complaining about what is wrong with South Africa and ‘living’ South Africa we want to see.”