Siya Kolisi

Siya Kolisi currently captains the Springboks and plays his club rugby for the Sharks in the loose forward position. Image: Getty Images.

Kolisi: Springboks playing for South Africa, not for Rassie

Captain Siya Kolisi refused to comment on the Rassie Erasmus suspension saga, saying Springboks are focused on playing South Africa.

Siya Kolisi

Siya Kolisi currently captains the Springboks and plays his club rugby for the Sharks in the loose forward position. Image: Getty Images.

Captain Siya Kolisi refused to be lured into commenting on the Rassie Erasmus suspension saga, saying the Springboks are focused on representing South Africa and not anything else.

The Springboks are currently in the penultimate week of what has been a disastrous end-of-year tour to date.

The Test side are nil from two following agonising defeats against Ireland and France, South Africa ‘A’ performed poorly and lost both their games against Munster and Bristol, star Bok flank Pieter-Steph du Toit has been banned for the upcoming games against Italy and France and the Test squad is set to lose its European-based players this week because the international window will be closed.

There has also been plenty happening off the field as well: the Elton Jantjies and Zeenat Simjee affair is still hogging the headlines with new revelations being brought forward every other day and of course the latest drama surrounding Erasmus.

On Thursday, it was confirmed that World Rugby has issued Erasmus with a ban on all match-day activities for two games as a result of recent social media posts. As a result, he may not take part in any match-day activity in relation to the two upcoming Tests agains Italy, and England on 26 November, 2022. 

At his captain’s press conference on Friday, Kolisi was continuously probed to give his opinion on World Rugby’s decision to ban Erasmus, he refused to be baited into commenting.


“We come off two tough games, which we lost,” said Kolisi.

“Our focus is completely on playing Italy. It’s a big game for us. We don’t want to go three games without a win. So we’ll show Italy the respect they deserve. We saw how they played in the last two games, so know what they can do.

“We’ll be playing for South Africa, for the people back at home. Playing to win the game is all that is on our minds right now. The most important thing is to make sure that we stand up because Italy is a very good team.”

“That’s been the message this whole week. We’ve lost two games on this tour, we can’t take focus away from that. We need to step up. Italy have shown in the past fortnight that they’re a good team.” 

“It’s a big game for so many reasons. We want to play for each other.

“Some guys are playing their last games, as they are going back to their unions. And for some guys, maybe this is their only opportunity that they’ll get before the World Cup team is chosen.

“So, there are enough things in the team that are already like – not pressure, but moments for players. We want to prove ourselves in this game.

“Anything can happen now… A player can go down, but somebody else will be ready to take the opportunity.

“That is what we see this weekend as, especially for a lot of us. Maybe we don’t play next week and don’t get another opportunity. So, this is a big weekend for us, and nothing can get between us as a group.”

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15 Willie le Roux, 14 Cheslin Kolbe, 13 Damian de Allende, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Kurt-Lee Arendse, 10 Damian Willemse, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Jasper Wiese, 7 Franco Mostert, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Salmaan Moerat, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Ox Nche.
Substitutes: 16 Malcolm Marx, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 Eben Etzebeth, 20 Kwagga Smith, 21 Evan Roos, 22 Cobus Reinach, 23 Manie Libbok.