Springbok captain Siya Kolisi has been released early from his contract with Western Province Rugby and will be joining the Sharks.
As reported on SARugbymag.co.za as far back as 8 January, Kolisi is set to make the switch from Cape Town to Durban after an 11-year journey, spanning his entire professional rugby career to date.
Kolisi’s move has become somewhat of an ‘open secret’, and on Sunday, WP Rugby sent out a statement confirming the 29-year-old’s departure.
‘Kolisi’s current contract was set to come to an end in October 2021 and although the union did everything possible to re-sign him, he chose not to take it up and has been released early from his contract, upon acceptance of a transfer fee,’ a statement read.
Kolisi signed with Western Province Rugby straight out of school, learning his trade at the Western Province Rugby Institute and playing in the Western Province U19 team in 2010, which also featured the likes of Frans Malherbe, Scarra Ntubeni, Eben Etzebeth, Nizaam Carr and Damian de Allende.
It did not take Kolisi long to make an impression in the senior team and he made his Western Province debut in 2011, before going on to earn his first Stormers cap in 2012.
Kolisi made a try-scoring debut for the Stormers in the opening game of the 2012 campaign, coming on as an injury replacement for Schalk Burger.
He ends his time at Western Province Rugby as the second-most capped Stormers player, with the legendary Burger (123) the only player to have topped his 118 Vodacom Super Rugby caps for the franchise.
Kolisi became a Springbok on his 22nd birthday in 2013, having beem impressive in his first two seasons as a Stormers player.
In 2017, Kolisi was named Stormers captain and led the team for two full Super Rugby campaigns before he was appointed Springbok captain in 2018.
In 2018, Kolisi played his 100th match for the Stormers and the following year became the third Springbok captain to lift the Webb Ellis Cup, when the Springboks beat England 32-12 in the World Cup final in Yokohama.
In 2020, he set up the Kolisi Foundation and, along with many of his Stormers teammates, played a major role in providing relief for vulnerable communities during the Covid-19 pandemic and resulting lockdown.