Sport / Rugby

Sport Staff
2 minute read
20 Feb 2017
4:15 pm

Handing Siya Kolisi the Stormers captaincy could make him better

Sport Staff

The Bok flanker is apparently up against Frans Malherbe, who also has legitimate case to be handed the captain's armband.

Captain-elect? Siya Kolisi is one of the men touted to become the Stormers' leader. Photo: Ziyaad Douglas/Gallo Images.

The Stormers have abandoned last year’s poorly executed policy of appointing co-captains.

Robbie Fleck, the Capetonians’ head coach, on Monday confirmed he’ll announce his skipper for the 2017 Super Rugby campaign on Thursday.

More importantly, it will only be one candidate.

Also read: The thin blue line: How the Stormers shape up

Frans Malherbe, the Springbok tighthead who shared the responsibility with Juan de Jongh last season, is still in contention but Siya Kolisi has also emerged as one of the favourites.

There’s a definite appeal to giving the role to the Bok-flanker.

Kolisi is known for his level-headed way of doing things yet it’s the more regular game-time that would be the real bonus.

The 25-year-old continues to be on the fringes of the national squad and hasn’t been able to nail down a place.

That’s partly down to his coaches not being sure what represents his best position.

Kolisi has been tried at No 6 to fulfill the role of a so-called “fetcher”, while others feel he’s more suited to being a ball-carrying blindside flanker.

Handing him the captain’s armband then could be the way of helping him settle in a specific position, whichever one that may be.

However, the same applies to Malherbe.

The powerful 25-year-old tighthead is highly-rated in South Africa but didn’t cover himself in glory in last year’s series against Ireland.

Malherbe conceded far too many unnecessary penalties and eventually sat on the sidelines with an injury.

A more extended run in the starting XV would, like Kolisi, help him mature.

“We are trying to build a leadership group,” said Fleck.

“And there are some serious leaders in this team.”

The former Springbok centre clearly also referred to towering lock Eben Etzebeth here, who is expected to be a senior player in the group.

With the legendary Schalk Burger gone, Etzebeth is now considered the man to be the Stormers’ “enforcer”.

It’s safe to say he’ll relish that.

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