'Easy choice' to keep Kolisi as Bok captain

Siya Kolisi (Gallo)
Siya Kolisi (Gallo)

Cape Town - Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus says it was an easy decision to keep Siya Kolisi on as captain for the Rugby Championship.

Kolisi captained the Boks to a 2-1 series win over England in June in what was a significant moment for South African rugby as he became the country's first black skipper. 

The 27-year-old, as he has been with the Stormers over the last few years, was impressive in his leadership duties against England. 

His form, on the other hand, has not been at the standard he would have liked in 2018 so far. He struggled for large parts of the season at the Stormers, while Erasmus admitted on Monday that he expected more from Kolisi in the Rugby Championship. 

There were other options this time around for Erasmus when pondering his captain. 

Warren Whiteley, named Bok captain at the start of 2017 under Allister Coetzee, is back to full fitness and in the Rugby Championship squad. 

Eben Etzebeth, who replaced Whiteley as skipper last year after the No 8 was injured, also returns. 

For Erasmus, however, there was only ever one man for the job.

"The way Siya carried himself through a lot of emotional stuff on his shoulders, I think he carried it well and played relatively well," Erasmus said of Kolisi's contribution in June, adding that the hype around Kolisi's appointment in June may have impacted on his form.

"I think you’ll see a Siya now who starts playing really well, having seen how he has been training for the last three weeks with us. I think all the hoo-ha around the captaincy is starting to become normal now.

"I don’t think there was ever a stage where I personally doubted that he should be captain."

Kolisi is expected to wear the No 7 jersey when the Boks take on Argentina in Durban next weekend in their Rugby Championship opener. 

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