Wednesday, 17 February 2021 12:36

By Lehlohonolo Lehana.

The World-Cup winning Springbok captain Siya Kolisi was officially unveiled as a Sharks player on Wednesday.

Kolisi, who spent 11 years with Western Province and the Stormers, joins the Durban franchise on a multi-year deal.

Sharks CEO Eduard Coetzee said: "We are delighted to welcome Siya and his family to the Sharks.

"We pride ourselves on being a family unit who support and treat each other unbelievably well and a player of Siya’s pedigree is a welcomed addition to the team.

"He is a class act and undoubtedly a great ambassador for the game and is someone whom our young players will certainly draw inspiration from.

"We are confident that Siya will fit in seamlessly into our team environment and will thrive with the unique culture that we have in Durban."

After arriving in Durban, Kolisi spent time at Kings Park, and conducted his first media engagements in the colours of the Sharks.

With a beaming smile at the ready, Kolisi said he had woken up happy and at peace about the decision to join the Sharks after recently closing an 11-year chapter with Western Province Rugby.

"I’m excited to be here, it’s an honour and privilege. One chapter closes, and now a new one opens for me and my family. From a rugby point of view, it feels like the first day of school. I have to start fresh again, fight again, but I have that feeling I had as a young boy when I first started playing – it’s something that I need right now in my career.

"I have to earn the respect of my new teammates, and I’m looking forward to that. I’m hoping I can play my part both on and off the field."

"It’s going to be a fight for all of us because there are amazing loose forwards here. What I did in the past doesn’t matter because it’s a new beginning for me and I have to prove myself again. Last year for me as a rugby player was really tough, with injuries and other things.

"I’m the biggest critic of myself, and I know that if I don’t do well on the field then everything else off the field doesn’t really matter. I’m excited to compete for positions and play alongside guys like [Sikhumbuzo] Notshe."

During Wednesday’s media conference it was confirmed that Kolisi had received an offer to extend his contract at the Stormers, but had personally taken care of a transfer fee in order to join the Sharks sooner rather than later.

He also explained why going overseas was not a consideration at this stage of his career.

"I thought a while ago, after the 2015 World Cup that I wanted to consider going overseas. It was a tough period in my career. But then again I thought about the work I do as a person off the field, which is really important to me, and it’s one of the reasons I love the game.