Siya Kolisi, who matriculated from Grey High School in 2009, will lead the Springboks against England in the forthcoming three-Test series, while Pieter Steph-du Toit has been entrusted with the captaincy for Saturday’s historic Test in Washington against Wales.
The 26-year-old will become Springbok captain No 61, but and he will also become the first black South African to lead the Boks in a Test match.
The decision was met with positivity on social media, with celebrities and fans alike congratulating Siya Kolisi on his history-making news.
Rassie Erasmus, the SA Rugby director of rugby, congratulated Kolisi and Du Toit on their respective appointments. Both men will captain the Springboks for the first time.
“It’s a huge honour to captain the Springboks and Siya and Pieter-Steph are two honest, hardworking men who enjoy the respect of their fellow players,” said Erasmus.
“I believe both of them will do a good job as captains. My philosophy is that each player must take responsibility for his position and must therefore work extremely hard with that one goal in mind – to make the Springboks successful again,” added Erasmus.
Born in Zwide township near Port Elizabeth, loose forward Kolisi is also the Stormers captain and has played in 28 Tests since making his debut at age 22 against Scotland in Nelspruit on June 15, 2013. He has four Test tries to his name and he also captained the Grey High School 1st XV during his school-playing days.
Du Toit made his debut as a 21-year-old on November 9, 2013 against Wales in Cardiff. He is equally at home as lock and as loose forward and has played in 32 Test for the Springboks, 21 as lock, 10 times as flank and once as No 8.
All except two of the 43 players reported for Springbok duty on Sunday in Johannesburg, where the squad immediately got their preparations underway for this weekend’s Test against Wales. The duo of Frans Steyn (centre) and Bismarck du Plessis (hooker) will join the Springbok squad next Monday following the completion of their French club rugby commitments.
Erasmus will announce his starting line-up for the Welsh match on Wednesday, just a few hours before the 26-man squad fly out to Washington.
The Springbok squad to face Wales in Washington (in order of name, position, franchise, Test caps, points):
Nizaam Carr (loose forward, Stormers, 5, 0)
Dan du Preez (loose forward, Sharks, 3, 0)
Pieter-Steph du Toit (lock, Stormers, 32, 20 – 4t)
Thomas du Toit (prop, Sharks, uncapped)
Jason Jenkins (lock, Bulls, uncapped)
Steven Kitshoff (prop, Stormers, 23, 5 – 1t)
Wilco Louw (prop, Stormers, 5, 0)
Frans Malherbe (prop, Stormers, 17, 0)
Bongi Mbonambi (hooker, Stormers, 14, 5 – 1t)
Oupa Mohojé (loose forward, Cheetahs 18, 0)
Ox Nche (prop, Cheetahs, uncapped)
Sikhumbuzo Notshe (loose forward, Stormers, uncapped)
Marvin Orie (lock, Lions, uncapped)
Chiliboy Ralepelle (hooker, Sharks 23, 5 – 1t)
Kwagga Smith (loose forward, Lions, uncapped)
Akker van der Merwe (hooker, Sharks, uncapped)
Curwin Bosch (utility back Sharks, 1, 0)
André Esterhuizen (centre, Sharks, uncapped)
Warrick Gelant (fullback, Bulls, 2, 5 – 1t)
Travis Ismaiel (wing, Bulls, uncapped)
Elton Jantjies (flyhalf, Lions, 23, 203 – 2t, 38c, 39p)
Jesse Kriel (centre, Bulls, 29, 40 – 8t)
Makazole Mapimpi (wing, Sharks, uncapped)
Embrose Papier (scrumhalf, Bulls, uncapped)
Ivan van Zyl (scrumhalf, Bulls, uncapped)
Cameron Wright (scrumhalf, Sharks, uncapped)