While there were reports that Siya Kolisi might be considering retirement following his side’s victory in the Rugby World Cup final, the Springboks skipper on Tuesday said he remained firmly committed to playing for his country.
Kolisi was speaking at a press conference at OR Tambo International after his side was greeted by a rapturous reception by thousands of fans who gathered at the airport in Johannesburg to welcome back their heroes. The welcome even moved SA Director of Rugby Rassie Erasmus to tears.
Kolisi has led the Springboks since 2018, meaning he has now captained the Springboks to two Rugby World Cup titles in a row.
Now aged 32, Kolisi said he had no thoughts of hanging up his boots any time soon.
‘Nothing will change’
“ Personally, nothing will change. I will still be available for selection. I really want to play,” said Kolisi.
As for continuing to lead his nation, Kolisi hinted he could be stepping down from the role.
“About being captain … I don’t know. I’m not the coach. What matters to me the most is putting on the Springbok jersey. Being captain is not the most important thing.
“If I said to you I dreamt of being the Springbok captain I would be lying to you.”
Right now though, Kolisi made it clear it was time to celebrate.
“I am looking forward to the new journey, but for now we’re going to enjoy being home and being double world champions, back-to-back.”
The victory in Paris was for the millions of fans back home Kolisi said, explaining that the country was in desperate need of something good.
‘It’s not about us’
"We made a decision that we had already one the World Cup in 2019 - it's not about us as players anymore.
"We wanted to make sure that this one is for the people of South Africa. This one is for every single person in South Africa. Rich, poor... it doesn't matter where you come from.
"This trophy is also for people who come from tough circumstances in disadvantaged areas - areas that are not well resourced.
"For the kid who sits in Zwide, who sits in Goodwood, who sits in Malmesbury... this is for you because we come from those environments, we come from those backgrounds.”