Kolisi: No chats with Rassie about World Cup captaincy

Siya Kolisi (Gallo)
Siya Kolisi (Gallo)

Durban - Siya Kolisi has not had any conversations with coach Rassie Erasmus about the possibility of captaining the Springboks at next year's Rugby World Cup in Japan.

Having led the Boks to an important 2-1 Test series win over England in June, the 26-year-old loose forward has now been given the captaincy for the Rugby Championship, which starts on Saturday. 

Kolisi is growing into the role and there is no doubt that he is a natural leader, but with a number of former skippers in the Springbok mix, Erasmus is yet to make any commitments on who will lead in Japan. 

Kolisi seems the logical choice and is the favourite, but he also needs to command his place on the field through performances at Test level. 

The Boks have serious depth in the loose trio currently, and with the likes of Duane Vermeulen and Jean-Luc du Preez now on the outside looking in, Kolisi needs a strong Rugby Championship from a playing perspective now that he has made the shift from No 6 to No 7. 

He is completely focused on exactly that heading into Saturday's clash against Argentina in Durban. 

Back in June, Kolisi’s announcement as South Africa's first black Test captain was naturally a massive story. 

Week after week, Kolisi was made to answer questions about the social significance of his appointment. 

It was a good news story that South Africans embraced, but now that the honeymoon phase is over, he can put the focus back onto his rugby.

"We haven’t spoken about that. Our focus right now is the Championship," Kolisi said on Friday when asked if he had chatted to Erasmus about the World Cup captaincy.

"I just want to be in the side … that’s the most important thing.

"It does feel a lot more relaxed and more rugby-focused this time around. I just want to be measured on my effort and performance on the field."

The fact that there are four men in the starting line-up who have captained the Springboks before also works in Kolisi's favour. 

Warren Whiteley, Pieter-Steph du Toit and Eben Etzebeth have all skippered at Test level.

"We’re all kind of similar, especially myself and Warren," Kolisi explained.

"They’re going to take a lot of the responsibility off me so we can all focus on playing."

Saturday's match kicks off at 17:05.

Teams:

South Africa

15 Willie le Roux, 14 Makazole Mapimpi, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Aphiwe Dyantyi, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Warren Whiteley, 7 Siya Kolisi (captain), 6 Francois Louw, 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Tendai Mtawarira

Substitutes: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Thomas du Toit, 19 Marvin Orie, 20 Marco van Staden, 21 Embrose Papier, 22 Lionel Mapoe, 23 Damian Willemse

Argentina

15 Emiliano Boffelli, 14 Bautista Delguy, 13 Matias Moroni, 12 Bautista Ezcurra, 11 Ramiro Moyano, 10 Nicolas Sanchez, 9 Gonzalo Bertranou, 8 Javier Ortega Desio, 7 Marcos Kremer, 6 Pablo Matera, 5 Matias Alemanno, 4 Guido Petti, 3 Juan Figallo, 2 Agustin Creevy (captain), 1 Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro

Substitutes: 16 Diego Fortuny, 17 Santiago Garcia Botta, 18 Santiago Medrano, 19 Tomas Lavanini, 20 Tomas Lezana, 21 Martin Landajo, 22 Santiago Gonzalez Iglesias, 23 Juan Cruz Mallia

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England 219
Pakistan 326 & 137/8 (44 ov)
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England 219
Pakistan 326 & 137/8 (44 ov)
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