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Erasmus: Kolisi has potential to lead Boks at World Cup

Rassie Erasmus has other potential choices for the captaincy berth that include Warren Whiteley, Duane Vermeulen and Eben Etzebeth but says he won’t be pressured into selecting an individual to lead the team just yet.

FILE: Captain Siya Kolisi leads the Springboks out. Picture: AFP

PORT ELIZABETH - Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus has hinted that current captain Siya Kolisi is the front-runner to lead the team at next year’s Rugby World Cup in Japan.

Kolisi’s Test captaincy is still in its infancy but he has impressed his mentor with his leadership and seemingly his form. The Stormers captain has led the Boks on seven occasions, winning four and losing three so far during his tenure. One of those wins included a famous victory against the All Blacks for the first time in Wellington in the Boks’ last Rugby Championship encounter.

"I think Siya has massive potential to lead the team at the World Cup next year. Against England, in the June Internationals, he was under enormous emotional pressure because of the magnitude of his appointment and people made a really big deal about, which affected his game a little bit. Now that he’s dealt with that well, he’s improved his game so much and has become an even better player. He’s good on the ground, with ball in hand and makes a lot of tackles, which has made him become an all-round player."

Erasmus has other potential choices for the captaincy berth that include Warren Whiteley, Duane Vermeulen and Eben Etzebeth but SA Rugby’s Director of Rugby says he won’t be pressured into selecting an individual to lead the team just yet.

"There are a lot of other guys that have great leadership potential outside of Siya but the World Cup is still a long way away and there’s not pressure on me or any of the players to be thinking about that just yet."

The Springboks face the Wallabies in the penultimate round of the Rugby Championship at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth on Saturday, with the hope that they can finish the competition on a high note and keep their unbeaten record at the ground intact.

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