Super Rugby

Bok skipper Kolisi embracing new No 8 role

Siya Kolisi (Gallo)
Siya Kolisi (Gallo)

Cape Town - He will forever be remembered for wearing the No 6 jersey when the Springboks won the 2019 Rugby World Cup, but national captain Siya Kolisi is embracing a new role at the back of the scrum for the Stormers in their Super Rugby opener against the Hurricanes at Newlands on Saturday. 

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It is not unfamiliar territory for the 28-year-old, who started his career playing No 8 at age-group level, but the tactical switch under new coach John Dobson now sees Jaco Coetzee move to openside flank having featured at No 8 under Robbie Fleck last year. 

It is a move that Dobson will be monitoring closely on Saturday, and if he feels that either player is not ticking the right boxes then the option to swap around mid-game is still available. 

Kolisi, though, is embracing the change. 

"The only difference is the scrumming," he told media at Newlands on Thursday. 

"It'll take me a couple of games but I really enjoy it. It gives me a little bit more freedom, but you still have to be as fit as a No 6 because I have to sprint back and forth and help the backs."

When asked if he was now expecting to make more carries, Kolisi explained that he would do whatever what best for the team in a given situation. 

"I really don't think too much about that. If I have to clean all day, that's what I'll do.," he said.

"I won't look at the number on my back and think that now I don't have to do what I normally do in the field.

"Whatever is required of me at the time, I'm going to have to do.

"Dobbo and the other coaches are going to send messages down, so that I can adjust if I am too loose or whatever.

"We also have Jaco Coetzee who has played No 8 quite a lot and if it gets too much, we will just swap position."

The Stormers, with five World Cup-winning Boks in their starting pack, are expected to be one of the most dangerous sides in the competition in that department. 

Kick-off on Saturday is at 15:05.



15 Dillyn Leyds, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Ruhan Nel, 12 Jamie Roberts, 11 Seabelo Senatla, 10 Damian Willemse, 9 Herschel Jantjies, 8 Siya Kolisi, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Jaco Coetzee, 5 Chris van Zyl, 4 Salmaan Moerat, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Steven Kitshoff

Substitutes: 16 Scarra Ntubeni, 17 Ali Vermaak, 18 Wilco Louw, 19 David Meihuizen, 20 Ernst van Rhyn, 21 Johan du Toit, 22 Godlen Masimla, 23 Rikus Pretorius


15 Jordie Barrett, 14 Wes Goosen, 13 Billy Proctor, 12 Ngani Laumape, 11 Ben Lam, 10 Fletcher Smith, 9 TJ Perenara (captain), 8 Gareth Evans, 7 Du’Plessis Kirifi, 6 Reed Prinsep, 5 Scott Scrafton, 4 James Blackwell, 3 Tyrel Lomax, 2 Ricky Riccitelli, 1 Fraser Armstrong

Substitutes: 16 Asafo Auma, 17 Pouri Rakete-Stones, 18 Tevita Mafileo, 19 Vaea Fifita, 20 Devan Flanders, 21 Jamie Booth, 22 Jackson Garden-Bachop, 23 Vince Aso