Mon 28 May 2018 | 02:57

VIDEO: No baggage for Kolisi's Bok team

Siya Kolisi about captaining Boks
Mon 28 May 2018 | 02:57
VIDEO: No baggage for Kolisi's Bok team
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Just moments after being named in the Bok squad for the June Tests, Kolisi – the first black player that will captain the Boks in a Test match – told rugby365 that his team will carry no baggage from their rivalry in Super Rugby.

The 26-year-old flank, who also captains the Stormers, has played 28 Tests for his country.

In 2006, Mahlatse Ralepelle became the first black to skipper the South African national team, against a World XV in England, but the match did not have Test status.

Kolisi's Stormers teammate Pieter-Steph du Toit will lead South Africa in a one-off Test against Wales in Washington this coming Saturday – before Kolisi takes over the captaincy in the three-Test series England.

Kolisi and many other likely first-choice players for the England series will remain in South Africa to prepare for the encounters – in Johannesburg on June 9, Bloemfontein (June 16) and Cape Town (June 23).

"When we go there, we represent the country," told rugby365, when asked about the fierce rivalry that exists between the franchises and was on high-definition display between the Stormers and Lions at Newlands at the weekend.

"We want to take everything we have learned here [at the Stormers] and use it there [at the Springboks].

"Whatever we learn from there, [we will] bring it here and use it this side [at the Stormers]."

* Article continues below the video!

He said the best part about meeting up as a Bok team is that nobody carries any baggage.

"None of this [what happened in Super Rugby], will be mentioned tomorrow.

"We will speak like we didn't even play against each other.

"The whole focus is what you want to do for the Springboks.

"Some of the guys will head off to America, so we have to get on with the programme as soon as possible ."

Bok coach Rassie Erasmus, who himself is a recent appointment to the national team set-up, said he has coached Kolisi since he was 18.

Erasmus lured Kolisi from the Eastern Cape, where he played for Grey Highschool, to move to the Stormers.

"I coached him during his time at the [Westeren Province] academy, right through to [when he started playing for] the Stormers.

"I know what he can do, I know his qualities. I know how he has grown as a man and as a captain.

"It [the Bok captaincy] is only for the June Test matches.

"Guys like Warren Whiteley and Eben Etzebeth [the 2017 Bok captains] are still injured, so it just makes good sense to me that he would be a good option."

By Jan de Koning
@king365ed
@rugby365com

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