Siya Kolisi has become a cult figure in Western Province and the Stormers over the last year after undertaking the mammoth charge of replacing club and country legend Schalk Burger. His hard work, massive hits and patients has finally been rewarded with a selection to Heyneke Meyers Springbok squad.
Cries of “KOLIIIIIIIISI” ring out from the rafters of Newlands each time the monstrous lose forward grabs the ball or makes one of his signature tackles and this writer cannot wait for the entire country to embrace a player who has all the makings of a future Springbok legend.
Kolisi spent 2012 on the fringes of the Meyers plans, being selected for the Bok squad who hosted England last year as well as the Rugby Championship but not making an appearance. Meyer made it clear that he wanted to introduce the flanker slowly into the culture and give him his opportunity on the 2012 end of year tour. Devastatingly for Kolisi his dream of making his test debut was put on hold after breaking his thumb against the Golden Lions in last year’s Currie Cup.
After another stellar year with the Stormers, Meyer believes this rising star is ready to pull on the hallowed Green & Gold. On selection, Kolisi told the media that the first thing he would do was call his father.
“He is going to be more emotional than me, I mean I am the first Springbok from the township where I come from, He is going to be a very proud dad, and he is going to cry a bit and I will probably join him. I am really happy but it isn’t only about me, it is about everybody that’s been supporting me everyone in Cape Town and Port Elizabeth.” Kolisi said after being told of his inclusion on Wednesday.
“He’s (Heyneke Meyer) always been backing me and that is why I’ve always stayed positive. He’s been encouraging me all the time, It is a huge privilege but I kind of knew it would come somewhere along the line. It is a great thing for me and I have to be a role model, As a Springbok, it is not only about rugby, it’s the things you do off the field.” He added.
Meyer then told the media, that while Kolisi was a great player he still had a lot of work to do to win a starting jersey: “I spoke to both Siya and Marcell and if they want to play there, they need to show they can play a specialist role, We also have a guy like Heinrich Brussow and, if one of these guys doesn’t show he can play a specialist openside role, then there is no reason why Brussow can’t come into the mix.”