Rachel Kolisi was only able to congratulate her husband over the phone after his appointment this week as the first black Springbok captain.
“We haven’t had an opportunity to celebrate yet because he’s been away and any celebration that happens, we would want him a part of it,” she said.
The Springbok loose forward will lead the Springboks against England in the forthcoming Castle Lager Incoming Series.
Rachel has revealed that she put the phone down on her husband when he called to tell her that he had been appointed to lead his country.
“I was driving our daughter to the hospital (she’s been sick) and he called. I couldn’t believe it.
“I prayed he would get the opportunity, I just didn’t expect to hear the news in that moment. So. I hung up and called him back when I was a bit more level-headed.”
Born in Zwide township near Port Elizabeth, Kolisi is also the DHL Stormers captain and has played in 28 Tests since making his debut at age 22 against Scotland in Nelspruit on June 15, 2013. He has four Test tries to his name.
His appointment as captain of the Springboks was massive for the Kolisi family, said Rachel.
“I always knew he was destined for greatness and to see it all come to this point is exciting.
“I’m so happy for him. And so proud of what he’s done to get to this point. Both our families are incredibly proud.”
Rachel added that her husband had never imagined being the captain of the Springboks.
“Siya’s only goal has been to make the Springbok team and to play well. For a while in his career I didn’t see him becoming Springbok captain either. Only once he became the Stormers captain and I saw how well he led, I started praying he’d have an opportunity when the time was right.”
Rachel knows all about her husband’s leadership skills off the field. The two are parents to four children.
“The responsibilities he has at home, coupled with the accountability to his teams and the country, are massive, but he is an amazing father, leader and is a great role model. He’s patient, understanding and always open for growth.”
Rachel added that she did all she could to help her husband through his career.
“I think for every wife, mother, or girlfriend in an athlete's life, there is a massive amount of sacrifice that happens. I try to keep our life down to earth. And as far as I can, I hold down the fort at home which allows him to focus on the job at hand.”