Kolisi's dad in the stands as history beckons for Bok captain

South Africa during the Rugby World Cup 2019 Pool B match between South Africa and Canada at Kobe Misaki Stadium on October 08, 2019 in Kobe, Japan.
South Africa during the Rugby World Cup 2019 Pool B match between South Africa and Canada at Kobe Misaki Stadium on October 08, 2019 in Kobe, Japan.
Image: Steve Haag/Gallo Images

Siya Kolisi’s storied journey has brought him to this – a potential date with destiny in the final of the Rugby World Cup.

The final is also the Springbok captain’s 50th Test but listening to Kolisi you wouldn’t say the occasion was so weighty.

“It would be huge for us if we win the trophy‚” said Kolisi‚ when asked how significant the moment will be for the country should he become the third Springbok captain to lift the Webb Ellis Cup. “It will not only be huge for us‚ but the country as well.”

Although the match will be a personal milestone‚ Kolisi was quick to distance himself from personal ambition.

“It’s not about me and what it would mean for me‚ but more about what it will mean for the team.

“We are different South Africans from different walks of life‚ but we bought into coach Rassie’s [Erasmus] plans and we just said‚ ‘This is what we want to achieve’.

“We’ve given it everything‚ so it would be huge to show that‚ as a country‚ no matter where we come from‚ we can buy into one plan and we can achieve our goals. That’s how important it would be for us as a team and for the country‚” Kolisi said.

On that score‚ Kolisi and his teammates will have a brief audience with President Cyril Ramaphosa around midday on Saturday before they set off on their 30km journey southwest of the Tokyo Bay base to Yokohama.

Also in attendance will be the captain’s father Fezakele Kolisi‚ who had his passport stamped for the very first time when he left South Africa this week.

“I’m really happy that I could organise for him to come‚” said the captain. “He got here early this [Friday] morning‚ around 12 o’clock he got to the hotel. It’s his first time overseas‚ so it is something different for him.

“He came with my best friend and it’s one of the things I am grateful for about playing rugby – that we can do things like this for our family members.

“One of my best mates is here as well and it’s pretty special. It’s the second time that he is watching me live – the first game [Kolisi played for the Springboks] and now.“It’s really good to have him here‚” said Kolisi.


X