Siya Kolisi lays down the challenge to Springboks hopefuls as he reveals ‘ultimate Rugby World Cup dream’

Colin Newboult
Siya Kolisi celebrates following 2023 Rugby World Cup final win.

Siya Kolisi celebrates following 2023 Rugby World Cup final win.

Siya Kolisi admits that his Springboks focus has changed after leading the team to back-to-back Rugby World Cup titles.

The back-rower is now 32 and will likely lose the captaincy after head coach Rassie Erasmus stated that he preferred someone more “locally-based.”

Kolisi is currently playing abroad for Racing 92 after joining the club on a three-year contract following the conclusion of the World Cup.

First overseas club

He had spent his entire career in South Africa, firstly for the Stormers before moving to the Sharks for two years, but the flanker wanted to try his hand overseas after the global tournament.

That, according to Erasmus, has counted against him in the captaincy debate, but Kolisi still has ambitions of representing the Springboks during the next four-year cycle.

The great back-row is even looking towards the World Cup in 2027, although he admits that featuring in Australia is not a guarantee.

“Right now, the focus is on making that group and making sure we do well in the Tests we play and it’s always the ultimate dream, to play in another World Cup and win another World Cup for the country,” he told supersport.com

“But ultimately it will show how the body feels and how the mind is when we get there.”

Rassie Erasmus’ three-man shortlist to fill Siya Kolisi’s Springboks captaincy void

In February, Kolisi revealed that he wanted to play for another five years, but the great Springboks skipper admitted that all the experienced players have a challenge on their hands to stay in the national squad.

However, the 32-year-old is determined to remain part of the set-up and threw down the gauntlet to the young players hoping to break into the Boks team.

“That is what we want, that is our dream. But as you said the guys playing in South Africa are playing very well now, and it will be a challenge. If we don’t play better than them, then we will have to think about passing on the jersey,” he said.

“But saying that we are definitely not going to give it up, we won’t give up the jersey easy, they will have to take it.”

Captaincy

Despite seeing his captaincy hopes fade, Kolisi is not concerned and maintains that his ambition is to simply continue representing South Africa at Test level.

“As long as I still have the opportunity to put on that green and gold jersey, that is all that matters. There are few people who dream and say they want to be Springbok captain,” Siya Kolisi said.

“It has been an honour, as tough as it was, to be captain and all I want to do is to wear the jersey. No matter if I am captain or not.”

READ MORE: Bokrometer: 22 players on Rassie Erasmus’ radar as Springbok captain Siya Kolisi returns