Kolisi taking a different approach to Alberts

Date published: June 10 2016

Springbok flanker Siya Kolisi will get his maiden starting berth when the Springboks play Ireland this Saturday. 

Kolisi's previous 13 caps were all off the bench including a Man of the Match performance against Scotland in 2013 when he replaced Arno Botha in the fifth minute. 

"It feels like my first time playing for the Springboks, in a way," Kolisi said.

"It’s been a really good year provincially and I feel great about it."

Springbok coach Allister Coetzee says he wants Kolisi to use the momentum he's gained in Super Rugby as a powerful ball carrier and also as a versatile loosie.

"What I’m looking forward to is for him to keep carrying like he did (in Super Rugby)," Coetzee said.

"He’s renowned for being a strong ball carrier and I’d like to see that.

"I want to see him come up with that work rate, if he has to play towards the ball, he must do that. If he has to carry and even in the lineout be an option, he’s got to do that. It’s not just to play what is perceived to be your role, but to come with double and triple actions." 

The Stormers strongman is under no illusion of the importance of his role in a traditionally physical South African team.

"They are going to be the most important carries I would have had in my career so far," said Kolisi.

"It is my carries that are going to get us going forward, so I’m going to do everything I can to get us front-foot ball. It’s going to be tough, but I’m willing to take the challenge."

When asked if he would try and replicate the feats of "The Bone Collector" Willem Alberts, Kolisi said he would need to use his quick footwork to get around defenders.

"We’re two different types of players, he’s a big player, so I’m going to have to use my footwork," said Kolisi.

"I can’t just go in directly… I’m going to have to use a different approach.

"I’m not the same as him, I can’t just go straight in and run over the guys. I’m going to have to find a way of doing what works for me.