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Kolisi: I want to represent & inspire all South Africans

Some people have not been so welcoming about Siya Kolisi's new appointment and have said that his captaincy is a ploy by Rassie Erasmus and the government to tick transformation boxes.

FILE: Siya Kolisi (centre) shakes off the tackle of Wallabies opponent Kurtley Beale. Picture: @Springboks/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - When news broke that Stormers captain Siya Kolisi would extend his leadership role as far as the Springboks, it was met with many mixed reactions from passionate South African rugby fans.

Many South Africans, more especially in the black community, have celebrated Kolisi’s appointment. But there have been some who have not been so welcoming and have said that Kolisi’s captaincy is a ploy by Rassie Erasmus and the government to tick transformation boxes.

The Port Elizabeth born Kolisi though doesn’t believe that his appointment as captain of the Springboks is a political tool to appease racial transformation targets. The 26-year-old says his relationship with Erasmus dates back to when he was an 18-year-old at the Western Province Academy and has always enjoyed Erasmus’s backing.

“The appointment really is genuine for me and Rassie isn’t that kind of person. I’ve known Rassie since I was 18 years old and he has always been straightforward with me. Rassie isn’t a politician, and that goes for me too. All I want to do is lead my country well.”

The hard-working loose forward says he also hopes that his captaincy doesn’t only inspire black people but every South African.

“I hope I get to inspire not only black people but every South African because I don’t only represent black people but everyone in the country. Rassie showed us a picture when we assembled at camp, while we were playing for our different franchise on the field. In front of us were all South Africans from all races cheering for us.”

“That’s why we also wear the South African flag on our chests every time we run out for the Springboks. It is a representation of all our people.”

Kolisi will lead the Springboks out for the first time when South Africa take on England in the first of three Test matches at Emirates Airline Park on Saturday, 9 June.

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