‘Biggest game of my life’ – Kolisi

Henry

Bok captain Siya Kolisi describes this coming Saturday’s game against the All Blacks as “certainly the biggest game of my life”, a feeling that is shared by many of his teammates.

“It’s always a big event when we play against the All Blacks. These are also the two best teams in the world now facing each other in the Rugby World Cup final. I don’t think a game like this will ever happen again in our lifetime and we are excited.”

He says the Springboks realize how good the All Blacks are, something that is clear in the way they turned things around when they reached a low point last year. “They fought hard to get here and that says a lot about the team. We are looking forward to Saturday.”

The Boks will give their all on Saturday to become the first team to lift the Webb Ellis trophy for the fourth time and Kolisi says it’s a big day for the whole of South Africa.

“What we do on Saturday can have an effect on the mood of 62 million South Africans. People message me and say when we play it’s the only time they’re happy. We represent all kinds of people.”

Kolisi was four years old when South Africa lifted the trophy for the first time in 1995, also against New Zealand. He says he didn’t watch the game at the time, “but its impact on the Eastern Cape (where he comes from) and the rest of South Africa was massive.”

Scrum half Faf de Klerk and full back Damian Willemse are just as excited about the chance to face the All Blacks in the world’s biggest game and expect a hard game.

“For me personally, there is nothing bigger than (this match). On top of that, playing against the All Blacks when we are playing for a fourth World Cup title is very special. We feel the support out there for our team,” says De Klerk.

He says this is a unique situation and that many of the players will never get such an opportunity again. “We play for much more than the Webb Ellis trophy. I can’t say why, but I believe there will be incredible rugby played this weekend.”

Willemse also believes that the upcoming match is massive for the team and the country. “We now face a very good team, but the pressure we experienced during the quarter-final and semi-final prepared us well for this.”

The Boks had Thursday off and will use Friday to finish their preparation with the captain’s training.

The match kicks off on Saturday at 21:00 South African time.