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Siya Kolisi Is The First Black Captain Of South Africa’s National Rugby Team



South Africa is a powerhouse when it comes to rugby. So, it’s really hard to understand that since the national rugby team, Springboks was set up 127 years ago – read that again: 127 years ago – the team is only getting its first black captain now in the person of Siya Kolisi!

With the former captain injured, Kolisi was officially appointed to take the position ahead of the start of the season. BBC reports that his first appearance as captain of the team will be in a test match against England on June 9.

The 26-year-old made his debut for the Springboks in a 2013 game against Scotland. Although he came on as a replacement in the debut, he was named Man of the Match as South Africa won 30-17. Since then, he has made 28 appearances for the team.

Kolisi has been recognized as a skilled player who can handle any position in the back-row. Last year, he even became South Africa’s first black temporary captain when the regular captain was injured during a game.

Considering that during apartheid only white people were allowed to play for the Springboks, it’s not hard to see the role racial segregation played in delaying the appointment of a black captain. However, the fact that apartheid officially ended 24 years ago and we’re only seeing this change now shows South Africa still has a long way to go in terms of racial equity and inclusion in sports.

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