The South African Speedo-wearing fan that caught the eye of Siya Kolisi

While doing the victory lap, someone caught Siya Kolisi's eye – a young man who was jumping up and down in his seat in a Speedo with the South African flag plastered over it.

Springbok captain Siya Kolisi signs Jack Denton's Speedo. Picture: Screenshot/Twitter.

CAPE TOWN - As the final whistle went, the Springboks and their fans were ecstatic with a hard-fought, gritty 30-15 win over Scotland in front of a capacity crowd at BT Murrayfield - the largest stadium in Scotland - in Edinburgh.

Minutes after that whistle, Bok captain Siya Kolisi stood ready for his post-match interview but had to wait a couple of minutes longer due to the crowd going crazy, chanting “Siya! Siya!” in the background and one could even hear one of the most authentic South African sounds – a vuzuzela originating from various corners of the stadium. One would never have thought that Kolisi and his charges were playing 13 699,3 km from home in a foreign country, who by the way, they just demolished comfortably.

Kolisi smiled from ear to ear, acknowledged the crowd but still they didn’t pipe down, in fact they got louder and eventually, the presenter asked what the atmosphere has been like.

Kolisi said: “It’s been amazing, you can hear, you have so many South Africans that come all the way to be here - that is what this team [Springboks] means to the country. We take those responsibilities wherever we go, we take that kind of pressure or privilege with us wherever we go and I’m grateful to be part of this team and to be part of this proud country. Thank you to the people of Scotland, they have been amazing to us in Edinburgh they welcomed us, whenever we needed help, they were always there and they were friendly to us.”

After this loud and proud post-match interview, Kolisi ran after his team to complete their victory lap around the still-packed stadium. On route, someone caught his eye – a young man who was jumping up and down in his seat, in a Speedo with the South African flag plastered over it. Yes, the one that Faf de Klerk wore when Prince Harry entered the change room after 2019 Rugby World Cup final in Japan.

Kolisi jumped over the advertising boards that surround the rugby field towards the young man, who now has been identified as Zimbabwean-born Jack Denton - who turned around and had Kolisi sign his backside all the while smiling. In true Kolisi fashion, as he finished autographing this gentleman’s Speedo, he gave him a little slap on the bum, gave him a bear hug and ran off to join the rest of the Boks on their lap. This clip has now gone viral for various reasons:

  1. In Scotland, the evening temperatures are now dropping to 2 degrees (at least) and this gentleman was standing in the smallest piece of clothing possible. He must have been freezing.

  2. The genuine warm interaction between a Rugby World Cup winning captain and a fan.

So, who is Jack Denton? And how did this moment come about? Will he do it again? EWN Sport caught up with the Speedo-wearing fan in Scotland.

Denton is originally from Zimbabwe but was schooled in South Africa at Kingswood College in the Eastern Cape, which is a big part of where his love for Kolisi comes from.

“So essentially, I am a MASSIVE Siya Kolisi fan and have been for some time as he obviously went to school just down the road at Grey PE and I actually remember him playing at schoolboy level! So, for a while I’ve wanted his signature.”

Denton, who now resides in Edinburgh working as an engineer at a whiskey company, said the stars aligned and on the eve of the Autumn Nations Series clash, he saw Kolisi walking on the street with a former teammate: “Leading up to the game, I did manage to see him on the street with Dillion Leyds on the Friday and told him I’d be bare in Murrayfield in my Speedo and if he could after the game, I’d love his signature.”

Denton said excitedly: “At the game, I waited for the opportune moment and jumped on the chair and with the help of some other fans, screamed for Siya. He was amazing and acknowledged me within seconds that he was going to come. From then on, it was a bit of a blur to me but I have been describing the bum tap like “fresh summer breeze to the tushie.”

In the video clip, you can see there’s an exchange of words between the two former Eastern Cape residents, Denton said he couldn't remember what was said: “It was a bit of a blur to me, so I can’t say for sure what he said to me. I do just remember telling him that he had a great game and a big thank you to him!”

It’s clear the Boks winning was not just a good moment for the South Africans in the crowd, and despite their team losing, it seems the Scottish fans enjoyed having the World Cup winners there as well.

Denton said this was true: “The Scots do really enjoy the Boks, but I think that had a lot to do with the Bokke taking out the “old enemy” England and preventing them from winning the World Cup [in 2019]! Scotland do hate losing but watching England win is a close second. Being a Springbok fan here is very easy, the Scots are so inviting and especially with their team doing so well recently, they're just happy to watch a good game of rugby. Big reason why I actually love living here.”

For Scotland, having South African-born players play in the Scottish colours is no strange thing. This weekend alone, there were three South African-born players in their starting line-up and Denton said only a few years ago his older brother, David, was one of them: “This may be lesser known but my brother, David Denton actually played 43 times for Scotland, so I was a “dual supporter” during his career but to his disbelief since his retirement, I’ve gone fully fledged Springboks again. David was playing on Siya’s first cap for the Springboks.”

Denton adds that his brother was actually busy doing an interview when his Speedo wearing-self popped up on the stadium screen: “My brother was actually at the game doing a player appearance in one of the private boxes and was on the stage when I popped up on the TV, which got a good laugh out of everyone.

“My brother was delighted for me. He - out of anyone - knows how much I love the game and how much that moment meant for me. I think he was actually responsible for a lot of videos being shared on some of our shared groups.”

So, who’s next on the autograph list for Denton? “The clear answer would have to be Faf [De Klerk] - he is the man who bought the Speedo to life and it would only seem right. I wouldn’t trade Siya’s signature for the world though.”

According to Denton, there has been one bid made for the autographed costume: “I was on 5fm this morning where they wanted to start a bid and R50k was thrown into the hat. I can’t say I’m in any rush to sell it though. Definitely just going to frame it with a couple pictures and keep forever. Will be a great edition to the future bar.”

Denton, who is looking to return to South Africa one day, is clearly an avid rugby fan and looks set to see more of the same from the Boks come their last game on tour against England this weekend: “I think the Springboks know exactly what they are doing. I’m sure my advice wouldn’t be that useful but I just hope to see them stick to their strengths in the set piece and keep dominating the gain line. I think it’s also important to note that win or lose - the blood is still green and gold!”

The power of the 'Green and Gold' Springbok jersey and the players who represent it, stretch way beyond the four lines of the rugby field and what a pleasure it is to witness the serious and more light-hearted moments of this team that continue to give people hope in SA and beyond.