CAPE TOWN – The appointment of Siya Kolisi as the Springbok captain against England “augurs well with the transformation agenda of our country”, says Sports and Recreation Minister Tokozile Xasa.
Bok coach Rassie Erasmus named the 26-year-old Kolisi as the man in charge for the three-Test series against Eddie Jones’ team, while lock Pieter-Steph du Toit will call the shots against Wales in Washington DC on Saturday.
Xasa also congratulated Du Toit on his selection as a skipper as well in a statement on Monday, and said she was delighted that the choice of 19 black players in the 43-man squad started to “reflect the demographics of our people”.
“I have all the belief in our national team that they will do well. I am mostly delighted that the leadership skills of Siya Kolisi have been recognised,” Xasa said.
“I am also happy that new players include a number of black Africans, this augurs well with the transformation agenda of our country.
“The team is a combination of new players who have done well in Super Rugby, as well as experienced stalwarts. South Africans expect nothing but a win from our boys.”
Erasmus said on Monday that Kolisi and Du Toit would “do a good job as captains”.
“It’s a huge honour to captain the Springboks, and Siya and Pieter-Steph are two honest, hard-working men who enjoy the respect of their fellow players,” Erasmus said.
“I believe both of them will do a good job as captains. My philosophy is that each player must take responsibility for his position and must therefore work extremely hard with that one goal in mind – to make the Springboks successful again.”