Siya Kolisi continues SA's post-World Cup exodus with sensational move to France

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Siya Kolisi
Siya Kolisi
Steve Haag/Gallo Images

Springbok captain Siya Kolisi will be lost to the South African domestic game after this year's World Cup in France.

Ambitious French giants Racing 92 on Tuesday morning sensationally confirmed that they have signed the 31-year-old loose forward from next season in a deal that runs until 2026.

He's the second Springbok to announce a post-showpiece move after Steven Kitshoff, who'll leave the Stormers for Ulster. 

The club noted in a statement that the agreement is part of a "broader long-term collaboration" between itself and the Sharks in "different areas" such as an exchange of skills between the respective regions' rugby schools, academies and even its first teams.

Nonetheless, the news vividly illustrates that even with increased private investment in local franchises, like MVM Holdings' majority stake in the Sharks, South Africa's weak exchange rate remains a challenge, especially in light of Kolisi previously renewing his terms till 2027 in Durban as recently as last May.

"The signing of Siya Kolisi reinforces the ambitions of Racing 92 and will offer our supporters a high-level [of performance] at Paris La Défense Arena," said Jack Lorenzetti, chairman of Racing.

"His [winning ambition] and natural leadership makes him a great player, but he's also a deep humanist. He will bring additional positive energy to Racing 92.”

Kolisi added that he has admired the club for some time.

"I'm very enthusiastic about the idea of joining Racing 92 after the 2023 Rugby World Cup, a visionary club that I have always admired," he is quoted as saying in the statement.

"I would like to thank all those involved in Racing 92 and the Sharks for allowing me to take up this new challenge. Racing 92 has great ambitions on the ground, but also very encouraging societal projects, which corresponds to my personal values ??and mission."

Indeed, Racing further notes that Kolisi's "commitment to education and social cohesion" is an ideal fit for a club "already invested in solidarity initiatives".

The Sharks also confirmed his departure, stating that he's been granted an early release with the franchise's "full blessing".

Kolisi joins fellow Springboks Trevor Nyakane and Warrick Gelant in Paris.

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