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Siya Kolisi's comeback lasts just 22 minutes

By Ian Cameron
Siya Kolisi of Racing 92 looks on during the Top 14 match between Racing 92 and Stade Francais at Paris La Defense Arena on February 24, 2024 in Nanterre, France. (Photo by Franco Arland/Getty Images)

South Africa’s Springbok captain Siya Kolisi had to leave the field after only 22 minutes into his return to rugby during his side’s Champions Cup round of 16 loss to Toulouse on Sunday.

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At 32 years old and a holder of two World Cup titles Kolisi showed signs of a right ankle injury leading to his early exit.

Ibrahim Diallo stepped in as his replacement.

Following the Springbok’s triumph in last year’s World Cup Kolisi’s transition to Racing 92 was highly anticipated. His comeback was however marked after a hiatus of of two months due to surgery on a finger on his right hand.

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Revealed – The decisive factor in the decision to name Siya Kolisi captain | RPTV

Former Stormers coach Robbie Fleck talks about the moment he realised Siya Kolisi should be Stormers captain. Watch the full episode on RugbyPass TV

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Revealed – The decisive factor in the decision to name Siya Kolisi captain | RPTV

Former Stormers coach Robbie Fleck talks about the moment he realised Siya Kolisi should be Stormers captain. Watch the full episode on RugbyPass TV

Watch now

The game also saw the return of Toulouse’s flyhalf Romain Ntamack after an eight-month absence which had sidelined him from France’s World Cup campaign on their home turf.

Racing 92 boss Stuart Lancaster will be hoping to get more of the Springbok back row, who will be joined at the club by England legend Owen Farrell next season.

Lancaster has spoken about a lack of leadership at the capital side and between the pair will certainly supply that it nothing else.

Indeed it was reported in France that Racing 92 clearout of players this season is to accommodate the pair under the Top 14 salary cap, both of whom are understood to be salaries in the high six figures. Farrell is reported to be about to make around €800,000 a season with the Parisians, while Kolisi is thought to be closer to €1 million.

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Now out of Europe, Racing 92 sit third in the Top 14 table.

Kolisi began his professional career at Western Province in 2011, accumulating 35 points over 34 appearances until 2021. He then played for the Stormers from 2012 to 2020, scoring 95 points in 118 matches.

In 2021, he joined the Sharks, adding 20 points through 31 games before moving to Racing 92 in 2023, where he’s made four appearances. Internationally, Kolisi represented South Africa U20 from 2010 to 2011, earning 10 points in eight games. Since 2013, he’s donned the Springbok jersey 83 times, scoring 50 points, including leading them to World Cup victories in 2019 and 2023.

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Jon 23 hours ago
Why Sam Cane's path to retirement is perfect for him and the All Blacks

> It would be best described as an elegant solution to what was potentially going to be a significant problem for new All Blacks coach Scott Robertson. It is a problem the mad population of New Zealand will have to cope with more and more as All Blacks are able to continue their careers in NZ post RWCs. It will not be a problem for coaches, who are always going to start a campaign with the captain for the next WC in mind. > Cane, despite his warrior spirit, his undoubted commitment to every team he played for and unforgettable heroics against Ireland in last year’s World Cup quarter-final, was never unanimously admired or respected within New Zealand while he was in the role. Neither was McCaw, he was considered far too passive a captain and then out of form until his last world cup where everyone opinions changed, just like they would have if Cane had won the WC. > It was never easy to see where Cane, or even if, he would fit into Robertson’s squad given the new coach will want to be building a new-look team with 2027 in mind. > Cane will win his selections on merit and come the end of the year, he’ll sign off, he hopes, with 100 caps and maybe even, at last, universal public appreciation for what was a special career. No, he won’t. Those returning from Japan have already earned the right to retain their jersey, it’s in their contract. Cane would have been playing against England if he was ready, and found it very hard to keep his place. Perform, and they keep it however. Very easy to see where Cane could have fit, very hard to see how he could have accomplished it choosing this year as his sabbatical instead of 2025, and that’s how it played out (though I assume we now know what when NZR said they were allowing him to move his sabbatical forward and return to NZ next year, they had actually agreed to simply select him for the All Blacks from overseas, without any chance he was going to play in NZ again). With a mammoth season of 15 All Black games they might as well get some value out of his years contract, though even with him being of equal character to Richie, I don’t think they should guarantee him his 100 caps. That’s not what the All Blacks should be about. He absolutely has to play winning football.

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