Springboks’ double World Cup winner Kolisi back for Ireland series

Siya Kolisi in action for the Springboks against the All Blacks. File photo

Double Rugby World Cup-winning captain Siya Kolisi has been recalled by South Africa for a highly anticipated two-Test home against Ireland in July, South African Rugby announced on Tuesday.

The loose forward  led the Springboks to glory in the 2019 and 2023 World Cup finals and was among 39 players named by coach Rassie Erasmus.

South Africa are ranked first in the world and Ireland second ahead of sold-out internationals in Pretoria on July 6 and Durban seven days later.

The Boks will also play Portugal on July 20 in Bloemfontein before the start of the Rugby Championship in August.

Erasmus has yet to decide whether Racing 92’s Kolisi will continue to skipper the record four-time World Cup winners.

The coach has said he prefers whoever captains the Springboks to be based in South Africa, but has not ruled out “exceptional leader” Kolisi continuing in the role.

Kolisi, and a number of other stars, missed a 41-13 warm-up win over Wales in London last Saturday for various reasons.

Some, like the loose forward, were not released by their clubs as the Twickenham Test fell outside the international window.

Bulls players were also not available as they were playing in the United Rugby Championship final against Glasgow Warriors, which they surprisingly lost despite home advantage.

Those on the injured list included star Japan-based winger Cheslin Kolbe, who has been included for the Ireland Tests.

Jasper Wiese cannot face the Irish due to an ongoing suspension stemming from a red card in the English Premiership, but was named in the squad.

“It is great to have the overseas-based and Bulls players back with many of them being Rugby World Cup winners. They will bring experience and calm heads to the team,” said Erasmus.

“Some of the young players who were part of our travelling squad to London really impressed us over the last two weeks.

– ‘Unlucky players’ –

“While some of them have been included in this group, we were limited in terms of the number of players we could pick, so there will always be a few unlucky players.”

Erasmus chose three uncapped players, Bulls pair in hooker Johan Grobbelaar and hooker-prop Jan-Hendrik Wessels as well as Sharks back-rower Phepsi Buthelezi.

“Johan and Jean-Hendrik really impressed us at the alignment camps we hosted this year, and they are talented players with bright futures.

“We are keen to see what they can do and the dynamic they add to the team. They are skilful with immense talent and their selections offer them great opportunities.”

Ireland beat South Africa 13-8 at the pool stage of the 2023 World Cup in France.

However, while South Africa went on to score knockout victories over France, England and New Zealand to win back-to-back titles, the Ireland fell to the All Blacks in the quarter-finals.


Forwards: Phepsi Buthelezi, Ben-Jason Dixon, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Thomas du Toit, Eben Etzebeth, Johan Grobbelaar, Vincent Koch, Siya Kolisi, Frans Malherbe, Malcolm Marx, Bongi Mbonambi, Salmaan Moerat, Franco Mostert, Ox Nche, Trevor Nyakane, Evan Roos, Kwagga Smith, RG Snyman, Gerhard Steenekamp, Marco van Staden, Jan-Hendrik Wessels, Jasper Wiese

Backs: Lukhanyo Am, Kurt-Lee Arendse, Damian de Allende, Faf de Klerk, Andre Esterhuizen, Aphelele Fassi, Sacha Feinberg-Mngomezulu, Cheslin Kolbe, Jesse Kriel, Willie le Roux, Manie Libbok, Makazole Mapimpi, Handre Pollard, Cobus Reinach, Morne van den Berg, Edwill van der Merwe, Grant Williams

Standby: Jean-Luc du Preez, Joseph Dweba, Neethling Fouche, Celimpilo Gumede, Elrigh Louw, Wilco Louw, Ntuthuko Mchunu, Ruben van Heerden, Andre-Hugo Venter, Suleiman Hartzenberg, Jordan Hendrikse, Ethan Hooker, Quan Horn, Siya Masuku

Coach: Rassie Erasmus (RSA)

Stay informed with The Namibian – your source for credible journalism. Get in-depth reporting and opinions for only N$85 a month. Invest in journalism, invest in democracy –
Subscribe Now!

Latest News