Kolisi lays out Springboks' macro goal on eve of Rugby Championship
South Africa captain Siya Kolisi says they’re determined to cement themselves as the top-ranked rugby nation at the Rugby Championship following their 2019 World Cup triumph and recent series victory over the British & Irish Lions.
Though the Springboks beat the world in Japan and last weekend narrowly edged the touring Lions 2-1 in their three-Test series, they’ve played second fiddle to New Zealand with just a single success in the southern hemisphere championship over the last eight years.
“If we had no COVID then last year our goal was to be number one and consistently stay there,” said Kolisi on the eve of their Rugby Championship opener against Argentina on Saturday.
His side have been top of World Rugby’s rankings despite not playing for 20 months from the World Cup win until last month because of the global COVID-19 pandemic.
“To be number one, that’s the drive for us. We don’t want to be a one-off winner and then disappear,” he told a news conference on Friday.
Yet their top ranking will come under threat over the next few weeks as they take on Argentina on successive weekends in Port Elizabeth and then travel for two Tests away against each of Australia and the All Blacks.
“We packed away the victory over the Lions on Saturday, we enjoyed ourselves after the match but then Sunday we were already working on the game against Argentina,” added Kolisi.
He is one of five players remaining from last Saturday’s 19-16 win over the Lions in a much-changed home team to take on the Pumas on Saturday.
“This is a completely different challenge but we cannot prepare less than we did for the Lions. We’ve worked well this week on things specific for Argentina and to make sure we get our game plan going.
“It is also a great opportunity for the guys who are getting to start. These guys are hungry and want to play and they’ll bring an energy to the game.
“Last week is gone now, the Lions are gone but Argentina are here now wanting to prove a point,” the South Africa captain added.
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