Against all odds, Siya Kolisi is in the South Africa squad for his third Rugby World Cup and the inspirational Springboks skipper looks ready to again lead by example for the defending champions.
|Siyamthanda Kolisi OIG
|Place of birth
|Port Elizabeth, South Africa
Siya Kolisi is a professional rugby union player who represents French side Racing 92 in the Top 14 and South Africa in international rugby.
Siya Kolisi was born in Port Elizabeth, the most populous city in South Africa’s Eastern Cape province.
Siya Kolisi is 32 years old. He was born June 16th, 1991.
Kolisi will be making the switch to French outfit Racing 92 after the World Cup, having agreed an early release from his contract with his previous club, the Sharks.
The South Africa captain has signed a deal with the Paris-based side through to 2026, marking the first time he’s played for a club outside of his home nation.
Kolisi got his first taste of senior rugby with Western Province in 2011, graduating to the Stormers side the following year.
He spent eight years with the Stormers before swapping Cape Town for Durban in 2021 when joining the Sharks.
He made 31 appearances for the Sharks in two years but missed the end of last season following a knee injury.
Kolisi has played exclusively in the back-row in his career and has taken ownership of the famous number six jersey of the Springboks, despite plenty of competition.
Having been handed his first start for South Africa as an openside flanker in 2016, Kolisi was swapped to the blindside the following year, where he has remained.
An exceptional athlete with an incredible work ethic, Kolisi is arguably one of the best tacklers in the game, as well as being a menace at the breakdown.
It was touch and go whether Kolisi would even make the World Cup after he partially tore his anterior cruciate ligament while playing for the Sharks in April.
ACL injuries usually require a long period of rehabilitation, but Kolisi has returned in double-quick time to not only make the South Africa squad, but put down a marker to start their World Cup opener against Scotland on September 10th.
Since his return to full fitness, Kolisi has led the Springboks to thumping wins over Wales and New Zealand in World Cup warm-ups, much to head coach Jacques Nienaber’s delight.
Nienaber tried out various players in Kolisi’s role while he was absent with Deon Fourie and Kwagga Smith getting their shots.
But given his importance to the Boks, both as a player and captain, Kolisi is almost certain to retain the number six shirt for the World Cup.
To win outright - 10/3
To reach the final - 11/8
To finish runner-up - 4/1
To finish 3rd - 9/1
To finish 4th - 18/1
To win Pool B - 20/21
Top Rugby Championship team - 6/4
Winner & Top tryscorer: South Africa & Cheslin Kolbe - 33/1