Eastern Cape’s own Siya Kolisi has been named as the world’s most influential person in the sport of rugby.
The prestigious Rugby World magazine released what they call “the ultimate list of rugby’s movers and shakers” – calling the list a definitive look at the sports stars who shape the game.
Every two years the magazine pulls together a list of the sport’s 50 most influential people with input from experts from all over the world.
Another big accolade for South Africa captain Siya Kolisi
According to Rugby World, John Smit noted that Kolisi lifting the Webb Ellis Cup in the 2019 Rugby World Cup would “change people’s lives” and “change the trajectory of our country”.
Kolisi – South Africa’s first black rugby captain – guided his teammates to World Cup glory. Rugby World also noted that he has since then been working tirelessly with his foundation to help those affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Other South Africans to have made the list include Springbok director of rugby Rassie Erasmus at No 6, SA Rugby CEO Jurie Roux at No 15 and Jacques Nienaber, who was the defence coach at the World Cup as No 43.
“Kolisi appreciates the power of rugby, and has the standing and authority and intelligence to be a statesman as well, to know exactly what he is saying and why it means everything.
“You also get the impression for this great man that he is saying exactly what he believes, with no gilding of his words for anyone’s consumption,” Rugby World columnist Stephen Jones said.