Springboks Siya Kolisi

Siya Kolisi. Image: Twitter @springboks

Siya Kolisi MUST go to RWC, ‘even if he doesn’t play’ — Mallett

Siya Kolisi must lead the Springboks into battle at the World Cup, whether that is as a player or just in a group leader capacity.

Springboks Siya Kolisi

Siya Kolisi. Image: Twitter @springboks

Former Springboks coach Nick Mallet believes Siya Kolisi must be included in South Africa’s 33-man squad for the Rugby World Cup even if the captain doesn’t feature in a single Test in France.

WATCH: Siya Kolisi involved in Springboks’ warm-up


During the latter parts of the URC season with the Sharks, Kolisi suffered a serious knee injury that led to initial fears that his World Cup could be in jeopardy.

However, ever since then, Kolisi has got stuck into an extensive rehabilitation programme that has remarkably put him on track to recover in time for a warm-up game or two ahead of the global showpiece.

The Bok skipper may be available for the Springboks’ final World Cup warm-up game, following confirmation that his recovery timeline is still looking positive.

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With the Springboks’ 33-man squad for the Rugby World Cup scheduled to be announced on Tuesday, 8 August, for South Africa and Italy Test coach Nick Mellett is adamant that Kolisi should be selected even if he is not medically fit to do so.

According to Mallett, Siya Kolisi brings immeasurable leadership to the Springboks camp, a quality which Mallett — admittedly — sorely missed during the 1999 World Cup after he had notoriously dropped long-standing skipper Gary Teichmann from the Bok set-up ahead of the tournament.

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“The big mistake, which I’ve mentioned many times, was leadership in not taking Gary Teichman to the 1999 World Cup that made a big difference,” Mallett explained on Final Whistle, one of SuperSport’s dedication rugby shows.

“It affected a number of players in the squad who didn’t play at their normal level when he was not on the field, so leadership is something that I cannot overemphasise the importance of it in South Africa’s context.

“We’ve got a complicated society, and we’ve got different cultures in the team, and when you’ve got someone like Siya Kolisi, who is so obviously respected by the squad, you can’t leave him behind. You just cannot leave him; he must go.

“Even if Siya Kolisi doesn’t play a game, he must go just as someone who is a leader of this group, and then we fill in with [Duane] Vermeulen and [Handre] Pollard.

“I really believe that strongly and 33 players is already two players more than we had when we won the World Cup in 2019, so we can afford to take as a captain who might be right for a quarter-final.”

ALSO READ: When will Handre Pollard and Siya Kolisi be back for Springboks?

Nick Mallett talks about Springbok skipper Siya Kolisi
Nick Mallett gives his opinion. Image: Supersport/Twitter