Siya has the swagger to lead Stormers


I came across this quote on the internet yesterday, and it perfectly sums up the most important attribute a rugby captain should have.

Staying calm under pressure is essential in the modern game, because there’s a lot more stress than in the old days. The media pressure is a 100 times greater than it was 20 years ago, and the referees seem to be 100 times worse, too. Also, players aren’t just considered as athletes anymore – they are celebrities.

But staying calm under pressure doesn’t mean that a captain needs to be dull and boring. In fact, a skipper needs to have some charisma and, as the kids of today would say, a bit of swag.

The Stormers have had some great characters in charge of the team since the advent of Super Rugby. The flamboyant Bob Skinstad, the rock-hard Corne Krige, the graceful but naughty Jean de Villiers, the irrepressible Luke Watson and the legendary Schalk Burger all have certain characteristics that are synonymous with the Cape franchise’s brand.

They formed part of the make-up of the team’s identity, which has always been associated with glamour and fun. Before they changed to a conservative game plan almost 10 years ago, I would even go as far as to say the Stormers were a sexy brand.

The Stormers are set to appoint their new captain over the coming week – maybe even today when the team for Saturday’s Super Rugby warm-up match against Argentina’s Jaguares is announced.

My pick for the job would be Siya Kolisi. At his best, Kolisi is a destructive ball-carrier and a brutal defender. Those are traits of a player who can lift a team with either a telling break or a bruising tackle.

But the 24-year-old loose forward is also more than comfortable in front of a camera, and isn’t quite a walking cliche.

But he also strikes me as the sort of guy that thrives when he is given responsibility, but at the same time he has the calm demeanour and the charisma to follow in the footsteps of a Skinstad or a Burger.

Kolisi went off the boil a couple of years ago following his breakout season in 2012. He then became a father and had to take in his two younger siblings, and his rugby started picking up again – so much so that the Springbok flank has shown glimpses of the form that made him a Newlands darling four years ago when he played a massive role in the Stormers’ victory over the Bulls at Loftus Versveld.

According to reports, tighthead prop Frans Malherbe is the front-runner for the Stormers captaincy, while Burger is also a strong candidate.

Malherbe is a wonderful player and could become the best No 3 in the world this year. But the big front-ranker doesn’t have the kind of presence – at least as far as I’m concerned – that a Stormers captain should possess.

Burger is approaching the twilight of his career and it’s time to blood a new captain while “Schalla” is still around to offer some guidance.

Kolisi would be my choice to continue the legacy of great Stormers captains, who have always added a bit of spice to the Newlands stew. - Cape Times

Original source: Siya has the swagger to lead Stormers