Springboks Rugby World Cup

South Africa’s flanker and captain Siya Kolisi kisses the Web Ellis Cup after South Africa won the France 2023 Rugby World Cup Final match between New Zealand and South Africa at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis, on the outskirts of Paris, on October 28, 2023. (Photo by Anne-Christine POUJOULAT / AFP)

Siya Kolisi: Things to know about the Springbok captain

Find out more about inspirational Springbok skipper Siya Kolisi as he prepares to lead his country in the Rugby World Cup final.

Springboks Rugby World Cup

South Africa’s flanker and captain Siya Kolisi kisses the Web Ellis Cup after South Africa won the France 2023 Rugby World Cup Final match between New Zealand and South Africa at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis, on the outskirts of Paris, on October 28, 2023. (Photo by Anne-Christine POUJOULAT / AFP)

Springbok skipper Siya Kolisi has truly transcended rugby to become a South African hero.

His story is one of rags to riches and shows that dreams can come true no matter who you are.

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Ten things to know about Siya Kolisi

1 Kolisi was born on 16 June 1991 in Qheberha’s Zwide township, in the Eastern Cape. He told magazine Rugby World that grew up poor and that a brick was his favourite toy as a child.

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2 Siya Kolisi was raised by his grandmother after losing both his parents at a young age.

3 Kolisi started playing rugby at the age of seven. Like many South African boys he fell in love with the game at a young age.

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4 His prowess as a junior player for club team African Bombers earned Kolisi a full scholarship to Grey College, the famous Springbok factory.

5 The best man at Kolisi’s wedding was Nicholas Holton a former Grey College classmate who helped teach the future Springbok skipper to speak English when he first arrived at the school.

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His rugby career

6 Western Province jumped at the opportunity to sign Kolisi straight out of high school and he would make his professional debut for the union when he turned out against the Lions in the 2011 Vodacom Cup.

7 Kolisi made his Test debut against Scotland in Nelspruit in 2013 in the process becoming Springbok No 851.

8 The day after his 26th birthday, on 17 June 2017 Kolisi scored his first try for his country while playing against France in Durban. He beautifully intercepted a ball that he picked off his ankles, and sprinted in for the score that contributed to a 37-15 victory for the Springboks.

9 He was the third Springbok captain to lift the Rugby World Cup after Francois Pienaar and John Smit and he is the first to lift the Webb Ellis Cup twice for South Africa.

Family man Siya Kolisi

10 He is married to Rachel Kolisi and the couple have two children Nicholas and Keziah and they also care for his younger half-siblings Liyema and Liphelo whom Kolisi has officially adopted.

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