EC’s 3 Springboks in Japan
The Eastern Cape has sent three of its best athletes to lead and be part of the 2019 Springboks Rugby World Cup squad in Japan, from September 21.
Back from a knee injury, Zwide-born Siyamthanda Kolisi (28) will lead the charges as the first black captain in the history of South Africa’s Rugby World Cup.
The Stormers captain is said to be honoured and nervous to captain the 31-men national team. “These kinds of opportunities, you don’t really dream about,” said Kolisi.
Kolisi is joined by Tsholomnqa-born Makazole Mapimpi (29) who has been a firm favourite since he made his Springbok debut in 2018.
The former Border Bulldogs player who has had a meteoric rise to the national team, with no formal rugby training plays for the Sharks.
Lukhanyo Am (25), another former Border Bulldogs player from King Williams Town came as no shock when the squad was announced.
He made his Springboks debut in 2017 as a Sharks player. Former Bulldogs coach David Dobela coached both Am and Mapimpi earlier in their careers. He is excited about their inclusion in the team and attributes it to their hardwork.
“These are super disciplined and hard-working players; they deserve the nod. To think not long ago Mapimpi just came off rural clubs and rose very quickly into the international scene,” he enthused.
Dobela is particularly thrilled about the example set by the two-some for other players in the Eastern Cape who dream of wearing the green jersey.
“If players are disciplined, they listen to the coaching staff, they can achieve anything. I wish them well and I cannot wait to see them show the world the quality and talent the Eastern Cape has,” concluded Dobela.