SPRINGBOK SKIPPER Siya Kolisi will earn his 50th Test cap in Saturday's Rugby World Cup final against England in Yokohama.
The 28-year-old made his debut back in 2013 against Scotland in Nelspruit.
He was given the full-time Bok captaincy in 2018 when Rassie Erasmus replaced Allister Coetzee as national coach.
A serious knee injury in 2019, however, meant that Kolisi was a doubt for this year’s showpiece.
He used the pool stages of the tournament to help rediscover his full fitness and, unless something goes wrong between now and then, he will lead the Boks out into battle against Eddie Jones’ men as they look to secure a third Webb Ellis Cup.
“It’s a great achievement for your captain to have his 50th cap in this game,” said forwards coach Matt Proudfoot.
“Duane (Vermeulen) and Pieter-Steph (du Toit) have gone past 50; Eben Etzebeth 80, Beast (Tendai Mtawarira) 118 I think, Steven (Kitshoff) is getting close to 50, Frans (Malherbe) is about 40 to 45.
“So, the group as a pack is really experienced, and what’s impressed me is how they solve their problems internally. A lot of guys have been here and are in their second World Cup, and we have empowered these guys to handle the situation.
“I must mention, being a forwards coach and my contact time with the forwards, how mature the guys have become over the last three or four years.”
Kick-off on Saturday is at 11:00 (SA time).
Image (In you we trust. Boks captain Siya Kolisi celebrating with his teammates. The Boks are ready for England as they clash in the RWC finale on Saturday, his first as a skipper).