Siya Kolisi Prepares for Ireland Tests Amid Captaincy Uncertainty

South African rugby captain Siya Kolisi prepares to lead his team, the Springboks, in two tests against Ireland in July, potentially his last as captain, amidst hints of a new captain being appointed, while reflecting on his tough upbringing and legacy off the field through his foundation's work in education, sport, and community development. This description focuses on the primary topic of Siya Kolisi's potential last games as captain, the main entity of the Springbok team, and the context of the upcoming tests against Ireland. It also highlights Kolisi's personal story and his off-field legacy, which are significant aspects of the article. The description provides objective and relevant details that will help an AI generate an accurate visual representation of the article's content, such as images of Kolisi in action on the rugby field, or scenes depicting his foundation's community work.

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Aqsa Younas Rana
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Siya Kolisi Prepares for Ireland Tests Amid Captaincy Uncertainty

Siya Kolisi Prepares for Ireland Tests Amid Captaincy Uncertainty

South Africa's double World Cup-winning captain, Siya Kolisi, is gearing up for two tests against Ireland in July, which may be his last as skipper. Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus has hinted at appointing a new captain, potentially a locally-based option, either this year or next.

Kolisi, 32, reflects on his difficult childhood in South Africa, one of the most unequal societies in the world, where he witnessed rampant unemployment and violent crime. He credits his mental fortitude to his tough upbringing, saying: "The stuff that I saw as a child was not good for a child to see, and I saw it so many times..."

The Springbok captain also emphasizes the team's shared experiences and resilience: "I have doubts in myself but I never have doubts in my team. I know who I have next to me and around me. For us as a team, we come from South Africa, and we face challenges each and every single day. We've been through far worse than a rugby game. A rugby game is just another day, another walk in the park."

Off the field, Kolisi wants his legacy to be defined by his work with the Kolisi Foundation, which focuses on education, sport, gender-based violence, and food security for communities. "I don't want to be remembered for the things I do on the field. What I want to be remembered for is the work I do with my foundation," Kolisi says. "I think that's a much bigger impact because the trophies and all the achievements, the records that we set, somebody else will come and break them. But I think the lives that you touch off the field, like we do with my foundation, it's some of the work that I needed as a child that I wish somebody had done for me."

As the Springboks prepare for the Ireland tests, coach Rassie Erasmus is holding "alignment camps" to evaluate potential players for the national side. He is considering selecting foreign-based players like Juarno Augustus, Carlu Sadie, and Tyrone Green to bolster the squad. Augustus, a 26-year-old backrow, and Sadie, a 27-year-old prop, have been impressing for their clubs in England and France respectively. Green, a 24-year-old fullback, could provide versatility as a bench option or starter.

The upcoming tests against Ireland in July will serve as crucial preparation for the Springboks ahead of their World Cup title defense in France next year. While Kolisi's future as captain remains uncertain, his impact both on and off the field has left an indelible mark on South African rugby. As he leads the team into battle once more, Kolisi's journey from humble beginnings to rugby greatness continues to inspire a nation.

Key Takeaways

  • Siya Kolisi may lead South Africa in his last two tests as captain against Ireland in July.
  • Kolisi credits his tough childhood for his mental fortitude and team's resilience.
  • He wants his legacy to be defined by his work with the Kolisi Foundation, not rugby achievements.
  • Coach Rassie Erasmus is considering selecting foreign-based players for the national side.
  • The July tests against Ireland will serve as crucial preparation for the Springboks' World Cup title defense.