JOHANNESBURG - Springbok skipper, Siya Kolisi, vowed on Wednesday to lead the national team to victory against England, when he will make history as South Africa's first black Test captain
In his first public appearance since being named Bok captain two days ago, he told journalists in Johannesburg that he wanted to focus on the game and not on the political and racial narratives around his historic appointment.
"I can't focus on what those people are saying, I can only focus on people that really matter to me and who support me," Kolisi said. "Coach 'Rassie' is not a politician and I'm also not a politician."
Kolisi this week became the first black player to be named South Africa Test captain, ending 127 years of white skippers since the national team debuted.
Post-apartheid government and rugby bosses have battled to bring about racial transformation in a team that once barred black people.
Kolisi said he believed his promotion was genuine and based on his skills.
He pointed out that he and coach Erasmus had known each other since he was 18.
"For the coach to show this much faith in me, I'm just going to give everything I can and do my best and make sure that I deliver. I can only control what I can do on the field."
The Springboks play England in Johannesburg (June 9), Bloemfontein (June 16) and Cape Town (June 23).