Sharp Sharks, Springbok focus on Siya Kolisi’s fitness
DURBAN - A thorough pre-season of conditioning for Siya Kolisi is in the mutual interests of the Sharks and the Springboks following discussions between Kolisi, the Sharks and SA Rugby director Rassie Erasmus, who was very much kept in the loop regarding the Springbok captain’s move to the Sharks.
Kolisi has said that knee and hamstring injuries plus Covid-19 prevented him from gaining any playing momentum last year, and his form was not his best when he did get occasional game time.
“There was no consistency for me last year,” said Kolisi, who has completed just two full games of rugby since the World Cup. “I had no fitness base because we were given time off after the World Cup, and then I picked up injury after injury.
“That’s why I’m excited to be here at the Sharks. The coaches have already said they just want me to get as fit as possible so I can deliver on the field. I know last year was difficult for me, you can’t hide it and the stats show it,” he added.
Kolisi said he knows what is required for him to get back on track.
“Coach Sean (Everitt) said I just need to train hard, make sure I’m fit, and then I know I’m capable of doing anything. So I just need to have a good pre-season, and then when I’m ready I’ll have a chance to play.”
Sharks chief executive Eduard Coetzee said he had had a discussion with Erasmus.
“I had a chat to Rassie, so he’s pretty aligned with what we’re doing and the plans for Siya. We are not going to push him to play until he is ready. Our conditioning staff will get him up to speed and he will be in a no-pressure environment, with plenty of support to get back to his best.
“We know he’s the best leader in world rugby and will command a place in any team. So, there is a shared responsibility (with the Springbok management),” Coetzee added.
Kolisi said that his only priority now is to get back into his best shape. He said he could not worry about the Springbok captaincy at this point.
“When I spoke to Rassie, all he said was just make sure ‘the main thing stays the main thing,’ which is the motto we had with the Springboks,” Kolisi said.
“Rassie said: ‘As long as you’re doing what you’re meant to be doing, that’s the most important thing, and it doesn’t matter where you may be playing.’”