Bok captain Kolisi reveals why coach Erasmus refused to lift the World Cup trophy with him

Siya Kolisi with the trophy during the South African national rugby team arrival media conference at OR Tambo International Airport on November 05, 2019 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Siya Kolisi with the trophy during the South African national rugby team arrival media conference at OR Tambo International Airport on November 05, 2019 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Image: Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images

A visibly tired but jubilant Springbok captain Siyamthanda Kolisi walked into the press room at OR Tambo International Airport with the Webb Ellis Cup in hand after arriving back in SA from Japan on Tuesday night.

The 28-year-old Kolisi‚ who was the first black Springbok captain to lift the trophy‚ said SA's World Cup triumph was more than just lifting the trophy and he displayed an understanding of the different paths in life that his team-mates had to take to get to the national team.

Kolisi's father‚ Fezakele‚ was at the final in Japan a few days ago and watched his son hoist the trophy. It was a special moment for Kolisi‚ whose family was also there to witness the moment.

“I am very grateful and I was happy to have my dad there.

"I think I told my team-mates that it was one of my dad's dream to take me to places around the world and that's why I'm so grateful to rugby.

"It's allowed me to do such things and I'm really proud that he could be there to share the moment with me. The team loved him and it was a very special moment for me‚” Kolisi said.

“It also showed my kids that family is very important.

"If you can do something for someone‚ then you must do it.

"The most important thing was that people knew what we were fighting for.

"Prince Harry came into our changing room‚ told us that he knew what was going on and our country needed this.

"It reminded us of the human drive that it's not about you.

"It's about the people in this room and those who are outside.”

The final‚ which South Africa won 32-12 against England in Yokohama on Saturday‚ was Kolisi's 50th Test.

The Springboks touched down in SA on Tuesday November 5 2019 after their 32-12 win over England in the Rugby World Cup final in Yokohama, Japan. The squad arrived at Johannesburg's OR Tambo International Airport, where thousands of South Africans were waiting for them - proving once again that the country will always back our boys.

He debuted against Scotland in Mbombela in 2013 where he came off the bench for the injured Arno Botha.

Kolisi made the 2015 Rugby World Cup squad but never started a Test under former coach Heyneke Meyer.

Current Springbok coach Johan “Rassie” Erasmus backed him with the captaincy and it's paid off.

For Kolisi‚ it was all about getting an opportunity and making it count when it arrives.

“Anything can be overcome if you get the opportunity.

"When I was younger‚ my drive was to go to training every day and I was preparing myself for an opportunity just in case.

"When it did come I was ready and I took it with both hands when I got a scholarship‚” Kolisi said.

“It can be done‚ even though things are tough‚ but they can get better.

"If a guy like Makazole Mapimpi can come from where he comes from and make it‚ it shows that it's possible.

"The most important thing is that you mustn't listen to people who say you can't do it. I want to tell the kids that they must keep dreaming and keep believing.”

Kolisi also lauded Erasmus's selflessness as a coach.

“I asked Rassie if he could lift the trophy with me.

"He said:'No‚ this is your moment.'"‚ Kolisi said.

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