CAPE TOWN – Now that the ‘Whatsapp chats and video calls’ have finally been replaced by on-field communication, Springbok captain Siya Kolisi says they have done their best to prepare for their first of two Tests against Georgia in Pretoria on Friday.
The Springboks will return to the Test arena for the first time in exactly 20 months when they host the Georgians in a warm-up Test ahead of the three-Test Series against the British & Irish Lions, which kicks off on July 24 in Cape Town.
“This is huge for us, we’ve been talking to each other for so long on video calls and WhatsApp. We thought we might have an opportunity to play last year, but it didn’t work out. But we are finally all together again, and there’s been so much excitement. Every team has had to adapt during this pandemic, so we’ve done the best we can to make sure we are ready and prepared for this weekend.
When asked how it feels actually having the Lions in South Africa, Kolisi said: “It’s exciting that they are here, but nothing has changed for us. We have always gone on the mindset that things will happen, so it hasn’t changed for us. Our coaches and management have handled everything off the field, so our focus has been to be ready when the time comes for us to play.
“It’s special. I remember watching it (the Lions take on the Springboks in 2009), I was still in school. I remember watching Frans (Steyn) playing and a couple of guys, like Duane (Vermeulen), who played for their provinces. It’s an amazing feeling, some of the greatest legends will never have the chance to play them (the Lions), so it’s a huge opportunity.
“I’m telling you, every single player has worked hard because they will never get that opportunity again, even the players playing for their unions are working hard.
“I remember listening to Frans and Morne as they spoke to us on the side about this tour. It’s special.”