Phepsi Buthelezi Springboks Rassie

Phepsi Buthelezi scores for the Sharks. Image: Steve Haag Sports/INPHO/Shutterstock

Sharks coach identifies youngster in the Siya Kolisi-mould

Who could follow in the footsteps of Siya Kolisi one day? Well, according to Sharks coach John Plumtree, one name stands out to him.

Phepsi Buthelezi Springboks Rassie

Phepsi Buthelezi scores for the Sharks. Image: Steve Haag Sports/INPHO/Shutterstock

Former Sharks captain Siya Kolisi has already established himself as one of the greatest Springboks of all time, and although he is now 32 years old, his international career is far from over.

After last year’s World Cup, Kolisi confirmed he would remain fully committed to the national side even after joining French-based club Racing 92, while he is expected to retain the captaincy.

However, the Springboks will need to manage his game-time, and also begin to settle on a succession plan in terms of identifying players who could perhaps fill his boots at openside flank in the future.

On this note, Sharks coach John Plumtree has interestingly suggested that 24-year-old Phepsi Buthelezi has similar attributes to the two-time World Cup-winning Bok captain.

“I think Phepsi could develop into a pretty good six, in the Siya Kolisi-type mould. He’s pretty relentless around the park so he has a good work rate,” he told reporters.

“His skill set around just poaching the ball and turning possession over he’s going to have to improve on and get better at, but he’s obviously a lineout option as well.

“Phepsi has had a good season and he’s proven to me that he’s pretty resilient with the amount of games that he has played. I’m not saying he’s going to be a six, seven and eight, but I’d certainly like him to be able to play in both positions.”

Siya Kolisi spent three seasons at the Sharks

Kolisi notably moved to the Sharks from the Stormers in 2021, and played alongside Buthelezi on a few occasions.

Like Kolisi, Buthelezi is also a natural leader, having captained various teams throughout his promising career to date.

The former Junior Springbok has also clearly been identified as a player with immense potential, having previously been involved in expanded Springbok training camps.

However, he was not selected for the first alignment camp of 2024.


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