Beast: Siya an 'exemplary, inspirational' leader

Siya Kolisi (Getty Images)
Siya Kolisi (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Prop Tendai Mtawarira says that Springbok skipper Siya Kolisi has won the support of the South African public and that victory in Sunday's Rugby World Cup final would be "extra special".

The Boks beat Wales 19-16 in Sunday's semi-final to set up a clash with England in Saturday's tournament decider. 

It will complete the most remarkable transformation under coach Rassie Erasmus, who took over the reins from previous coach Allister Coetzee in 2018 after the Boks had slumped to No 7 in the world following two disappointing years. 

Erasmus had no hesitation in appointing Kolisi the Bok captain - a decision he has stood by throughout, even when Kolisi was struggling with injury in the build-up to the 2019 World Cup. 

Now, Kolisi is one victory away from making history.

"It'll be extra special," Mtawarira said of the possibility of winning the World Cup under Kolisi. 

"Siya is an inspirational leader. The way South Africa has gotten behind him, it means a lot to unite the country.

"He's been exemplary, so it’d be amazing to win this World Cup with him as captain."

Mtawarira, who has 116 Test matches to his name, has represented the Boks for well over a decade. Playing in a World Cup final, though, is something he has not experienced before. 

"It means a great deal," he said.

"There's a lot of excitement back home, a lot of fans behind the team. For us it’s just inspiring. We want to go out there and represent our country the best we can."

Now 34, the 'Beast' clearly remembers watching on as the Boks beat England to win the 2007 final in Paris. 

"It was amazing, inspirational stuff," he said.

"Now to be part of a World Cup final is a dream for me, a dream come true. I feel like I’ve worked hard in my career to get here so I'll make it count."

Kick-off on Saturday is at 11:00 (SA time).  

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