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VIDEO: Rassie backs his 'in shape' captain for Ireland series

Siya Kolisi is in good enough shape to lead South Africa against Ireland next month.

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Erasmus, addressing the media a day after he named a strong 39-man squad and an additional 14 players on a standby list, confirmed that the two-times World Cup flank will remain captain – despite being based in France.

Erasmus recently revealed that he prefers his captain to be “locally based”

“I would always love to have a captain locally based because he can hop on a flight and we can have a weekend together and plan and work on stuff,” he said at a media briefing earlier this year.

“This is a unique situation. He will be considered and I think he will play some Test matches. He wants to and he is playing well enough.

“If we get the feeling that it is doable, and they [players] know him so well, maybe there is a place for that, but I will first have to suss it out and see if it works.”

(Continue below …)

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It did not help that Jacky Lorenzetti, owner of Kolisi’s French club Racing 92, was disparaging about the Bok skipper.

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The Racing boss criticized the Bok captain for “gaining weight” and having “lost his shape”.

“The break was harmful to him,” Lorenzetti said of Kolisi’s mid-season hand injury that required surgery.

“He gained weight, lost shape and he was invisible,” he added after Racing was knocked out of the Top 14.

Erasmus disagreed with the Frenchman and did not doubt Kolisi’s ability to lead his country.

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“Siya will be captain,” Erasmus said, adding: “Siya will play No.6 flank.”

Erasmus said Kolisi is fit and has no injury.

“Siya is not fat.

“Siya is not transparent [invisible],” he said about Lorenzetti’s comments.

@rugby365com

In this episode of Walk the Talk, Jim Hamilton chats with double World Cup winner Damian de Allende about all things Springbok rugby, including RWC2023 and the upcoming Ireland series. Watch now for free on RugbyPass TV

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