Siya Kolisi: It felt like the first day back at school

Springbok captain Siya Kolisi has enjoyed his first few days with his Racing 92 teammates over in France. Fresh off winning his second Rugby World Cup at the helm of the indomitable Springboks, Kolisi arrived at Racing 92 in Paris on Monday to meet with management and tour his new home at the París La Défense Arena.

Speaking to AFP, the esteemed leader revealed that he’s hit the ground running in France.”I started training on Tuesday and it’s exciting, it felt like the first day back at school,” said Kolisi, who has signed a three-year contract.

“I’ve got a reputation, but it’s not my reputation that’s going to count on the pitch. I need to prove myself, learn a new language and get to grips with a new culture. The day I leave the club, I want people to be able to say that I gave it my all. Being here and seeing all the players, I think the coaching staff has been amazing. When they talk about ‘family’ you really feel that. The French Top 14 is most famous for being the hardest competition in the world. It’s very physical. Almost every nation is a part of it. That’s what I am looking forward to. Racing 92 head coach Stuart Lancaster heaped praise on his latest recruit,” shared Kolisi.

“He is obviously a world-class player,” quipped the former England coach.

“I want to add value to his game, as a coach I want to improve him. As a person, I think he has the highest levels of integrity. The way he conducts himself is amazing, he’s a great role model. And his experience will be a huge asset to Racing as we can learn from his time in South Africa and on his journey as a rugby player. One of the strengths of the club is the diversity within the team with players from different parts of France but also from different countries. The arrival of Siya only adds to that,” he said.

Kolisi is set to make his Top 14 debut for Racing 92 against French giants La Rochelle on 26 November.

(story credit: SABC Sport)

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