Siya Kolisi is a great candidate to be the next Springbok captain according to IOL Rugby writer Wynona Louw. Photo: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix
Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus will name his squad and captain for the Tests against Wales and England tomorrow. And while he’s said he won’t pick conservatively, the same should go for the captaincy. It should be Siya Kolisi.

Siya is a great rugby player, so there are no questions about that. And just think what it would mean for our country to have a black Springbok captain.

Handing Kolisi the leadership duties isn’t a concept I think should even be regarded as an unconventional one. If it should be considered anything, it should be overdue.

Kolisi has shown the kind of inspiring performances he can produce. He showed it last year with the Springboks against France in a series of performances that lit up the fields he ran onto. His presence on the field couldn’t help but lift the Boks. And while he hasn’t emulated that stunning form this season, there can be no doubt when it comes to his class as a rugby player.

When the 26-year-old loose forward was named Stormers captain last year, what followed that new responsibility was a new dimension to his game. Don’t get me wrong  it’s not like Kolisi was anywhere near being a passenger in Robbie Fleck’s team prior to that announcement. No, it was his on-field contributions that made him a candidate in the first place.

His skillful handling and his speed and agility are only parts of the exciting back-rower’s rugby CV, and today still it perhaps overshadows his other qualifications, like his massive work rate, his sturdy defence and the fact that he doesn’t take a step back when it’s time to get physical in the collisions.

We’ve seen all that, so don’t be too concerned about how ‘quiet’ Kolisi has been at times this season. That ability is there, and that can never be forgotten.

The Bok captaincy might just do enough to awaken the Kolisi of 2017. After all, he levelled up in terms of performance and zest when he was awarded the honour of running out in front in the blue and white. So the Bok captaincy armband could very well have the same effect.

Making Kolisi Bok captain will not only have an effect on him and his game, but it will also have an effect on South African rugby as a whole. In fact, Kolisi’s appointment will not only play its role in changing the game. No, it will go much further than that. And it’s a catalyst for change that couldn’t go to a better player. It couldn’t go to a better person.

Allister Coetzee missed a golden opportunity to change the country’s landscape when he opted for Kolisi’s vice captain at the Stormers, Eben Etzebeth to lead the Springboks in Warren Whiteley’s absence through injury.

It should have been Kolisi then, and it should be Kolisi now. And I just hope that it’s a gamechanger that Erasmus will grab.


Cape Argus

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