Springbok 'legend' Kolisi eagerly awaited by Racing 92 teammates

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Siya Kolisi. (Photo by ROMAIN PERROCHEAU / AFP)
Siya Kolisi. (Photo by ROMAIN PERROCHEAU / AFP)

South Africa's 2019 Rugby World Cup-winning captain Siya Kolisi's arrival at Racing 92 this year is eagerly awaited, his future teammates at the French club said Friday, with the new signing hailed as a "legend".

"For the club, it's a good thing to have signed the captain of the South African world champions," Racing's French international lock Wenceslas Lauret told a press conference.

"He's a very great figure in his country but also as a player who will bring his experience."

READ | Siya Kolisi reveals Dan Carter's influence in decision to join Racing 92

On Tuesday, Racing announced Kolisi's arrival after the World Cup this year to be hosted by France from September 8 to October 28, on a deal until 2026.

Fullback Max Spring hailed the arrival of "a leader" in Kolisi.

"He's already a legend of rugby even though he's still playing, because of the values he transmits to the national team," said Spring.

"We can't wait to see him arrive, he's a great player for whom I have a lot of respect.

"I heard he was a good guy, so already it's cool for group life. And then he will bring us combativeness and leadership, it's great news for the club."

Kolisi skippered the Springboks to the 2019 World Cup title, beating England 32-12 in the final in Japan.

The 31-year-old Sharks flanker -- the first black player to captain South Africa -- will be the three-time European Champions Cup finalists' marquee player, replacing Scottish fly-half Finn Russell, who is leaving for English Premiership side Bath.

"Siya will bring a lot to the club, on and off the pitch, he knows how to win titles and he will take Racing to the top," added attack and backs coach Rory Teague.

Kolisi joined the Sharks from the Stormers in Cape Town. He joins fellow World Cup winners, utility back Warrick Gelant and prop Trevor Nyakane, who play for Racing.

Racing currently lie fourth in the French Top 14 table, 12 points behind leaders Toulouse, after eight victories, a draw and five losses this season.

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