Siya Kolisi retained as South Africa captain for Ireland series

Siya Kolisi captained South Africa to Rugby World Cup wins in 2019 and 2023 editions
Siya Kolisi captained South Africa to Rugby World Cup wins in 2019 and 2023 editions

South Africa head coach Rassie Erasmus has named two-time World Cup winning skipper Siya Kolisi as the captain for the upcoming series against Ireland.

Kolisi captained the Springboks to Rugby World Cup triumphs in 2019 and 2023 but since then has moved to France joining Racing 92.

With Erasmus insisting that his preference for captaining South Africa on a long-term basis will be a home-based player, there were questions on who will be the next skipper ahead of the crucial series against Ireland but Kolisi has been retained for the role.

Also Erasmus has confirmed that Willie le Roux and Cheslin Kolbe have been declared for the series that begins on 6th July.

"Siya is fit and will be captain," Erasmus said.

"Willie and Cheslin are clear to play, but we'll have to manage [wings] Edwill van der Merwe and Makazole Mapimpi. Both of them stand a chance of being available for Ireland.

"We also have to manage [scrum half] Faf de Klerk, but [utility back] Canan Moodie will only be available for the second Test."

Erasmus also highlighted his plans on to build towards the 2027 Rugby World Cup campaign in Australia in the hunt for their third consecutive title.

"It's easier now compared to after 2019, and I've said this a few times; we now have 13 Tests, which we didn't have," Erasmus said.

"We can filter players slowly into the Test match oven, and see if they can come out right on the other side.

"We lost 2020 and we couldn't build a lot, but in 2024 we have games like Wales, where we can try new players, with a few more being tried against Ireland and Portugal.

"We know the Ireland series is our biggest clash this year.

"In the Rugby Championship, the new players who excelled in this period will push through."