Video: Siya will not captain the Sharks… for now
WATCH as Sharks Chiefs Executive Officer Eduard Coetzee addresses the captaincy debate after the high-profile signing of World Cup-winning Springbok captain Siya Kolisi.
Kolisi’s move from the Stormers to the Sharks has been dominating the headlines for the last few weeks.
He was finally unveiled as a Sharks players on Wednesday at Kings Park and he fronted the media for the first time since his departure from Western Province.
While Kolisi’s signing will bolster the Sharks side in terms of experience, one question that has been hovering in and around Durban is: Will Siya Kolisi be made the captain of the Sharks?
— rugby365.com (@rugby365com) February 17, 2021
Springbok centre Lukhanyo Am has been leading the Sharks and has done exceptionally well with the responsibility since his appointment in 2020 by head coach Sean Everitt.
Captained by Am, the Sharks reached the Currie Cup 2020 Final and he has led the team to the top of the overall Super Rugby standings prior to Covid-19 enforced suspension.
There is certainly no doubting Kolisi’s leadership prowess, having led the Springboks to a World Cup victory in 2019.
However, the loose forward has been struggling with his form since his injury back in February 2020.
Speaking at the official signing, Coetzee acknowledged Kolisi’s leadership, but revealed that the Sharks have opted to continue with Am as captain of the franchise.
“Siya led the country to World Cup victory, so, yes, we see him as a leader,” Coetzee said.
“But are we going to make him Sharks captain? No, not at the moment.
“Lukhanyo Am will still be Sharks captain.”
— rugby365.com (@rugby365com) February 18, 2021
Coetzee said that the Sharks want to give Kolisi enough time to focus on regaining his form without any extra pressure.
“The reason for that is, we want to create an environment for Siya to thrive and we want that with the least amount of pressure possible,” he said.
“The fact that Lukhanyo has done unbelievably well makes that argument a lot stronger.
“My discussion with Siya was that he must come here and we will treat him unbelievably well, like with all our players.
“For Siya to have added pressure, it’s not going to help him.
He added: “Selfishly, it would have been a great thing for the Sharks to make him captain, but it’s in his best interest and Lukhanyo’s – who is a great captain – to keep Lukhanyo as captain.”
Meanwhile, Kolisi shed light on the other issue surrounding his deal with the Sharks, which was the much-publicised transfer fee.
The 29-year-old confirmed that there was indeed a transfer fee that had to be paid to Western Province for his early release.
According to reports, the release fee was set a ZAR1-million from the contract, which was set to end on October 31.
Despite not revealing the in-depth details, Kolisi said: “[Western Province] offered me a deal and I said ‘no, I won’t accept’,” Kolisi told reporters.
“I asked if it’s possible to leave earlier. There was obviously a transfer fee and that is something I had to take care of myself.”
The full Siyamthanda Kolisi media briefing