Springboks

Schalk Burger opens up on THAT autograph picture with Siya Kolisi as a schoolboy

Siya Kolisi (Getty Images)
Siya Kolisi (Getty Images)
  • Former Springbok flank Schalk Burger has opened up on a picture of him signing an autograph for a young Siya Kolisi.
  • The picture was taken while the Springbok captain was still a schoolboy at Grey High in Port Elizabeth.
  • Burger says he's "immensely proud" of his former team-mate.

Former Springbok flank Schalk Burger has opened up on a photo of him signing an autograph for current national captain Siya Kolisi when the latter was a schoolboy at Grey High in Port Elizabeth.

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Burger was speaking with historian Dr Dean Allen as part of a fundraiser for the Chris Burger Petro Jackson Players' Fund on Thursday evening.

"I remember the training very well," Burger recalled.

"That was at Port Elizabeth and we always used to go to Grey PE for a day and we would do one in the township. Obviously there aren't a lot of Test matches in Port Elizabeth - we were still playing at the old Boet Erasmus in those days.

"There was this massive signing session afterwards. I was always one to try and stay until last. That photo came up many years later as Siya came to me in the changing room and was like 'Schalk, this is me', I couldn’t believe it."

Burger and Kolisi would later become team-mates when the latter started at Western Province in 2010.

"Because we were in the same position, we ended up spending lots of time together. Obviously he was good enough and was always going to play for the Springboks.

"I think in the finer influences of the game, I spent a lot of time working with Siya. In those days, he would sit on the bench behind myself and Duane Vermeulen and Francois Louw. We were the incumbent flanks for quite a few years and Siya would be the super-sub off the bench."

Burger, who played 86 Tests between 2003 and 2015 added that he was “immensely proud” of Kolisi’s achievements.

"It is not often you see photos like that going around. It is phenomenal to see his development."

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