Erasmus: Kolisi captain appointment had nothing to do with Willemse walkout

Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus says race had no role to play in his decision to appoint Siya Kolisi as captain for the series against England next month.

Kolisi will become the first black player to lead the Springboks in their 127-year history and when asked if he understood the significance of appointing the first black captain of the team, Erasmus told reporters in Johannesburg on Monday:

“I wouldn’t like to look at it that way. I know Siya is a good leader and I am excited about what he can offer us‚” Erasmus said.

“I coached him since he was 18 years old when he arrived at the Stormers from the Eastern Cape and through the academy until he played for the Stormers.

“I know him as a good rugby player. This year he has gone through some tough times with form as captain of the Stormers but he is a great leader.

“I like him because he is humble‚ he is quiet and the way he is playing at the moment he is not flashy.

“With the breakdown work he is doing in attack‚ the carries and clean-outs‚ he is playing almost like a blindside flanker.”

The Bok mentor also responded to a question regarding “recent events” that may have played a role in his decision to name 20 black players in his 43-man squad.

The “recent events” seemingly refer to the flare-up in the SuperSport studio between former Boks Ashwin Willemse, Nick Mallett and Naas Botha.

READ MORE: SuperSport to hold talks with Mallett, Botha after Willemse walk-out

Willemse walked off a live broadcast following an apparent disagreement with his fellow presenters. He spoke of being labelled a “quota player” and that he refused to be “patronised by two individuals who played in an apartheid/segregated era”.

Erasmus responded to the question: “Before I was appointed‚ I have always understood all the transformation issues and that they are part of the way we are heading and I have bought into that.

“We are trying to fix all the wrong things that we did in the past. The recent things that happened did not have a bearing on this decision because my contract was signed long before that. The players we have in this squad deserve to be here and I am not trying to fabricate things.”

Erasmus did not confirm whether Kolisi would stay on as captain when Warren Whiteley and Eben Etzebeth return from injury.

“He (Kolisi) is most of the time available and it makes common sense that he is given this responsibility against England with Warren and Eben still out injured‚” he said.

Meanwhile, Pieter-Steph du Toit has been selected as captain for this weekend’s clash with Wales in Washington DC and is someone that Erasmus sees as a potential Springbok captain of the future.

“I just think that for the first match against Wales‚ Pieter-Steph will be a good leader and he is someone who will be a good captain in the future‚” Erasmus added.

“He is not an old guy. He will play for a few more years and the way we want to play against Wales he is the ideal candidate.” — Sport24

External source

Study unpacks the ‘hidden racism’ at Stellenbosch

Students say they feel unseen and unheard at the university because of their skin colour

Workers’ R60m ‘lost’ in banks scam

An asset manager, VBS Mutual Bank and a Namibian bank have put the retirement funds of 26 000 municipal workers in South Africa at risk

‘Judge President Hlophe tried to influence allocation of judges to...

Deputy Judge President Patricia Goliath accuses Hlophe of attempting to influence her to allocate the case to judges he perceived as ‘favourably disposed’ to former president Jacob Zuma

SAA grounds flights due to low demand

SAA is working to accommodate customers on its sister airlines after it cancelled flights due to low demand

Press Releases

MTN unveils TikTok bundles

Customised MTN TikTok data bundles are available to all prepaid customers on *136*2#.

Marketers need to reinvent themselves

Marketing is an exciting discipline, offering the perfect fit for individuals who are equally interested in business, human dynamics and strategic thinking. But the...

Upskill yourself to land your dream job in 2020

If you received admission to an IIE Higher Certificate qualification, once you have graduated, you can articulate to an IIE Diploma and then IIE Bachelor's degree at IIE Rosebank College.

South Africans unsure of what to expect in 2020

Almost half (49%) of South Africans, 15 years and older, agree or strongly agree that they view 2020 with optimism.

KZN teacher educators jet off to Columbia University

A group of academics were selected as participants of the programme focused on PhD completion, mobility, supervision capacity development and the generation of high-impact research.

New-style star accretion bursts dazzle astronomers

Associate Professor James O Chibueze and Dr SP van den Heever are part of an international team of astronomers studying the G358-MM1 high-mass protostar.

2020 risk outlook: Use GRC to build resilience

GRC activities can be used profitably to develop an integrated risk picture and response, says ContinuitySA.

MTN voted best mobile network

An independent report found MTN to be the best mobile network in SA in the fourth quarter of 2019.