Former Springbok flank Schalk Burger has opened up on that photo with Siya Kolisi and says he is ‘immensely proud’ of the Bok captain.
Burger was speaking with historian Dr Dean Allen as part of a fundraiser for the Chris Burger Petro Jackson Players’ Fund on Thursday evening.
Prior to the start of the 2019 World Cup, a photo of Burger signing an autograph for Kolisi when the Springbok captain was still at Grey High School in Port Elizabeth went viral.
‘I remember the training very well,’ Burger said. ‘That was at Port Elizabeth and we always used to go to Grey PE for a day and we would do one in the township. Obviously there aren’t a lot of Test matches in Port Elizabeth – we were still playing at the old Boet Erasmus in those days. There was this massive signing session afterwards. I was always one to try and stay until last. That photo came up many years later as Siya came to me in the changing room and was like “Schalk, this is me”, I couldn’t believe it.
‘He obviously came to Cape Town in 2010 from Port Elizabeth. Because we were in the same position, we ended up spending lots of time together. Obviously he was good enough and was always going to play for the Springboks. I think in the finer influences of the game, I spent a lot of time working with Siya. In those days, he would sit on the bench behind myself and Duane Vermeulen and Francois Louw. We were the incumbent flanks for quite a few years and Siya would be the super-sub off the bench.
‘I am immensely proud,’ Burger added. ‘It is not often you see photos like that going around. It is phenomenal to see his development.’
Photo: Steve Haag Sports via Hollywoodbets