Ross Roche

By Ross Roche

Senior sports writer

Boks now ready to show their style — Siya Kolisi ahead of Wales Test

It has been an up and down season for the Boks so far with differing performances in the four games they have played.

The Springboks will be looking to improve and build as a group over the next two warm-up games against Wales and the All Blacks as they prepare to defend their World Cup title in France over the next two months, according to captain Siya Kolisi.

The Boks take on Wales in Cardiff on Saturday before facing the All Blacks at Twickenham next week Friday in their final two dress rehearsals before taking on Scotland in their opening pool match of the showpiece event on September 10.

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It has been an up and down season for the Boks so far with differing performances in the four games they have played, but Kolisi believes that they can’t be judged on those matches and that they will only now start to show their real selves over the coming games.

“We know where we are as a group. But these next couple of games are going to show if our combinations are working and where we can look deeper (into the squad) at what’s working and what’s not,” explained Kolisi.

“You will also be seeing our (true) style of play a bit more now. So you can’t really judge where we are from our past games (this season) but I think we are in a place that we can still improve on a lot as a group, but I also believe that we are in a good place.”

Stunning return

Kolisi will be making a stunning return from injury in the match and was extremely grateful to the faith shown in his recovery by the Bok management and the hard work and effort done by the various medical teams over his rehabilitation.

“It’s hard to sum it up in words. But I am just so grateful. I am grateful to our medical team here, they have been working hard with me at difficult hours so that we don’t interfere with what the team was doing,” said Kolisi.

“When you have a strong medical team that has confidence that it was possible for me to recover that changed my belief. I had to believe in powers that are far stronger than me because there is no way I could justify how fast I was healing.”

Looking at the Welsh match, despite it being a young team led by a young captain, and with them having lost a number of senior players to injury in the week, Kolisi admitted the Boks still had to respect them as they are a dangerous team.

“We respect Wales a lot. They are similar to us in many ways, because they are hard-working individuals who don’t get things easy. They can take you to dark places, so it’s going to be a tough Test,” said Kolisi.

“In the 2019 World Cup semi-final they played in a similar way to us and in the end it took one penalty goal to separate the teams.

“He’s a good leader (Wales captain Jac Morgan). He may be 23 years old, but he has good leaders around him that will help him a lot. He’s the kind of guy that wants to lead by example, so I’m looking forward to the challenge of playing against him.”

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