Kolisi shares glory as usual
SIYA Kolisi struck a familiar tune when he praised his Springbok teammates instead of claiming all the glory himself after being chosen as the Personality of the Year by the UK Rugby Union Writers’ Club in London on Monday night.
Kolisi’s coach Rassie Erasmus and teammate Faf de Klerk were also nominated, as well as Wales captain Alun Wyn Jones and Japan leader Michael Leitch.
The 28-year-old became the second Bok skipper to be handed the Pat Marshall Memorial Award after Francois Pienaar.
“Thank you so much for this. I’m really honoured to be accepting this award. It is a huge honour and privilege on behalf of me and obviously my teammates – without them, I wouldn’t have achieved this,” Kolisi said in a video on social media.
“So, thank you for this – it is not just for me and my teammates in South Africa, but for all the rugby players around the world. Let’s keep on growing the game.”
Chairperson of the writers’ club, Rob Kitson, wrote in The Guardian: “As anyone familiar with Kolisi’s extraordinary back story will know, he must be the ultimate example of just how transformative sport can be.
“How many of us would have had the energy, desire, ambition and sheer bloody-mindedness to conquer the world from where Kolisi’s journey commenced?
“… He grew up in the tough township of Zwide outside Port Elizabeth, raised by his grandmother from the age of 15 after his mother died.
“There was so little money that his favourite childhood toy was a brick; so little food that often he had to train on an empty stomach.”
Kolisi is gearing up for the 2020 Super Rugby season at the Stormers, which will play their final warm-up match against the Sharks on Sunday.
The Stormers’ tournament opener is against the Hurricanes at Newlands on February 1, and the captain wants to make it a memorable final season at the famous old ground. “We’re hoping people will just come and we make this a year of celebration,” he said.
◆ See the video at https:// twitter.com/RUWCOfficial/status/1216846231789613057?s=20