Springboks

Heyneke Meyer: It's a brilliant call by Sharks not to make Siya Kolisi captain

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Siya Kolisi (Gallo)
Siya Kolisi (Gallo)

Former Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer says the Sharks are making the right call by not handing Siya Kolisi the captain's armband.

The Springbok captain recently joined the Sharks from the Stormers but the Durban franchise indicated that centre Lukhanyo Am would remain their skipper.

"What the Sharks have done in not making Kolisi captain is brilliant so that he can focus on his game. He can always be captain later on. I think it's the right decision and he will do well going forward," Meyer told Sport24 in an exclusive interview this week.

Meyer said Kolisi, 29, should be well managed until the 2023 World Cup in France.

"If he plays every single game he's not going to last until the next World Cup. You have to manage those guys off the field and ensure they don't play too many games. The Sharks are a good franchise and on the right track with a lot of youngsters there.

"Siya can fulfil such a big role and by not being captain for now, he will have more time to assist his new team-mates. I feel the move will be a good change for Siya and I'm proud of the way he's developed as a leader."

Meyer, who handed Kolisi his Test debut against Scotland in Nelspruit in 2013, said he was proud to have witnessed the player's development in subsequent years.

"I selected Siya at the age of 21 and handed him his Test debut. He was a youngster when I picked him and there were brilliant loose forwards around. Now eight years later, he has grown into a leader. Siya is well-respected worldwide and is a great player. I don't know all the background details in terms of why Kolisi moved to the Sharks but sometimes it's great to have a fresh start. Each player must make the decision based on what is best for their career."

READ | Heyneke Meyer's full Q&A interview with Sport24

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