Siya Kolisi has admitted that he struggled to adapt to the publicity that came with the Springbok captaincy in 2018.
In a historic move, Kolisi became the Springboks’ first-ever black Test captain and led them to a series win against England, as well as a famous victory against the All Blacks in Wellington.
However, in an interview with CNN, Kolisi admitted that his first year as captain proved a challenging one, especially with the off-field responsibilities that come with the role.
‘I don’t like the spotlight. I’m very shy,’ Kolisi admitted. ‘People had obviously high expectations and everything, and I think seeing myself in newspapers every single day, it’s something I wasn’t used to.
‘My game went a little bit down, and it was tough. You can see with the stats and stuff. Even the coach would tell you that my game wasn’t up to standard.’
Kolisi added that after a less-than-modest upbringing in the township of Zwide, it was a dream come true for him to lead the team out last year.
‘For me, things that we dreamed about were being a taxi driver or doing things that I’m not supposed to be doing. When I was a kid, there’s no way I would’ve dreamed of being Springbok captain.
‘We’ve broken through some barriers I thought we couldn’t do,’ Kolisi said when asked to review last year. ‘The respect is back in the Springbok jersey.
‘I think we have a possible chance of winning the World Cup.’
WATCH: Ryan Vrede says Siya Kolisi cannot be elevated to a throne he isn’t comfortable in.
Photo: Marco Longari/Getty Images