Western Province confirms Kolisi departure after doing 'everything possible' to keep him

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Siya Kolisi prior to the Rugby World Cup quarter-final between Japan and South Africa at the Tokyo Stadium on 20 October 2019 (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)
Siya Kolisi prior to the Rugby World Cup quarter-final between Japan and South Africa at the Tokyo Stadium on 20 October 2019 (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)
Hannah Peters

Springbok captain Siya Kolisi will part ways with Western Province Rugby after an 11-year journey which has spanned his entire professional rugby career to date.

The union confirmed the news in a statement.

"Kolisi's current contract was set to come to an end in October 2021 and although the union did everything possible to re-sign him, he chose not to take it up and has been released early from his contract, upon acceptance of a transfer fee," the statement read. 

Kolisi has been heavily linked with a move to the Sharks in Durban and while Western Province did not provide any clarity on the 2019 World Cup-winning skipper's future, confirmation of that deal is expected shortly. 

Ever since American investors MVM Holdings acquired a controlling stake in the Sharks in January, Kolisi's potential move to Durban has been the subject of much speculation. 

Investors in the MVM consortium include Roc Nation Sports president Michael Yormark and Vincent Mai, who was instrumental in Kolisi receiving a scholarship to attend Grey High School.

Roc Nation, a talent agency owned by American rapper Jay Z, signed Kolisi before the end of 2019 after the Boks had won the World Cup and his likely move to KwaZulu-Natal appears to be rooted in that relationship. 

Kolisi signed with Western Province Rugby straight out of school, learning his trade at the Western Province Rugby Institute and playing in the U19 team in 2010, which also featured the likes of Frans Malherbe, Scarra Ntubeni, Eben Etzebeth, Nizaam Carr and Damian de Allende.

He made his senior debut in 2011, before going on to earn his first Super Rugby cap in 2012.

He ends his time at Western Province Rugby as the second-most capped Stormers player, with the legendary Schalk Burger (123) the only player to have topped his 118 Super Rugby caps for the franchise.

In 2017 Kolisi was appointed Stormers captain and led the team for two full Super Rugby campaigns before he was appointed Springbok captain in 2018.

Stormers coach John Dobson wished Kolisi well and thanked him for his significant contributions over the years.

"Siya Kolisi will always be a Stormers legend, his story is well-known throughout the world and everyone here is grateful to have played a role in that. We would have loved for him to stay and finish his career where it started, but we wish him all the best," said Dobson.

"We have always done our best to retain the world-class talent we have at the union before looking elsewhere and we are looking forward to announcing some significant contract extensions with some of our experienced players in the near future."

Kolisi said that he will always cherish the memories of his time with Western Province Rugby.

"I would like to thank everyone at Western Province Rugby for what has been an incredible time in my life in which I have grown as a rugby player and a person," he said.

"All of the coaches, management and team-mates who had such a big influence on me over the last 11 years and especially the Stormers Faithful and people of Cape Town and beyond who made my time with the union so special. It has been a privilege to experience their support."

- Compiled by Sport24 staff

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