Get Newsletter

VIDEO: The wedding conversation that 'earned' Siya the captaincy

Few would argue that Siyamthanda Kolisi is one of the greatest captains of the professional era.


Two World Cup titles, 83 Tests and the second-most capped Springbok skipper (53) behind John Smith already speaks volumes.

However, when he was first named Stormers captain in 2017, there were many doubters.

The man who made that inspirational call all those years ago has now been vindicate.

The Boks Office crew – host Hanyani Shimange, along with Springbok legends Jean de Villiers and Schalk Burger – with guest Robbie Fleck this week chatted about the decisive factor in the decision to name Siya Kolisi captain.

Fleck said that he always knew there was something special in Kolisi, when he first appointed him as a Stormers captain during his coaching tenure.

De Villiers interposed and said he recalled a conversation at Kolisi’s wedding with long-time partner Rachel in 2016.


“He [Fleck] said he was going to make him captain,” De Villiers said.

“[Fleck said at the time:] ‘Listen to the way he talks. Look at him in how he deals with people’.

“Credit to you for that,” De Villiers told Fleck.

The Boks Office guest, Fleck, said it was an ‘obvious’ choice.

(WATCH as the Boks Office crew reveals what was the decisive factor in the decision to name Siya Kolisi captain….)

Video Spacer

“At that wedding, the way he spoke about his family and his friends, his teammates – it was inspirational stuff,” Fleck added.

“It was inspirational stuff and from where he came from.

“He was the right fit for us as a Stormers group at that stage, pulling people together.

“The Stormers were fragmented at that stage.

“There was chaos above [in the boardroom].

“There was pressure from outside.

“We had to perform [on the field].

“I needed someone to pull the guys together.

“He [Kolisi] was as raw as anything, but he had been under the guidance of Scalla [Burger] and Jean [De Villiers] and would have picked up some things in terms of leadership.

“There is no book that Siya read from and that is the beauty about him as a leader.

“It is all there. It is all natural.

“He was learning on the go and that is the best part of his leadership – he was learning on the go.

“He had the respect of everyone.

“For me it worked wonderfully well.

“We were both young and relied on each other and made lots of mistakes.

“I grew as a coach and he grew as a leader and is now one of the most successful leaders in world rugby.”

De Villiers added that Kolisi, even at this advanced stage of a successful career, Kolisi is not threatened by others coming in and giving advice.

“He is open to it and happy to say: ‘I don’t know. Help me’,” De Villiers said.

* This entire episode and much more are on RugbyPass TV. All you need to do is sign up for a free account on RugbyPass TV and watch the entire episode.


* Click here for your one-stop RugbyPass TV shop!

Join free

Fresh Starts | Episode 1 | Will Skelton


Aotearoa Rugby Podcast | Episode 8

James Cook | The Big Jim Show | Full Episode

New Zealand victorious in TENSE final | Cathay/HSBC Sevens Day Three Men's Highlights

New Zealand crowned BACK-TO-BACK champions | Cathay/HSBC Sevens Day Three Women's Highlights

Japan Rugby League One | Steelers v Sungoliath | Full Match Replay

Rugby Europe Women's Championship | Netherlands v Spain

Write A Comment