Springbok captain Siya Kolisi has penned an open letter to Western Province, the Stormers and all his fans in the Cape following the news of his departure from the union.
Kolisi and Western Province announced at the weekend that the Bok captain, who led the national team to World Cup glory in Japan in 2019, would not be renewing his contract with the Cape-based union.
It is expected that Kolisi will join the Sharks, who have recently gone into partnership with MVM Holdings.
Kolisi’s letter is headed with the words “Eleven years. A lifetime of gratitude”.
In the second line he writes, “When I arrived at DHL Newlands in 2012, I arrived as a boy. Today, I depart as a man.”
He thanks all the coaches he has worked under in Cape Town, from Rassie Erasmus, who signed him as a schoolboy, to former Bok boss Allister Coetzee and most recent coaches Robbie Fleck and John Dobson, for “taking me under your wing and guiding me through to the highest level, showing me what it means to be a leader on and off the field.”
He adds, “I am forever indebted to you for offering me the opportunity to live out my dream.”
— Siya Kolisi (@SiyaKolisi_Bear) February 15, 2021
Kolisi then mentions all the recent great Western Province players he shared the field with… Jean de Villiers, Bryan Habana, Schalk Burger, Gio Aplon, Juan de Jongh and Andries Bekker.
The diehard fans are also thanked in the letter. “The atmosphere has truly been second to none. To the guys who sit behind the bench at Newlands, you have made my experience.
“My biggest regret is only that I was not able to bring you silverware that this fanbase truly deserves.”
Kolisi ends his letter with, “This is not a goodbye, this is only a see-you-soon.”