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Rassie Erasmus fires back at Racing 92 owner over Siya Kolisi remarks

By Josh Raisey
South Africa's director of rugby Rassie Erasmus reacts prior to the Summer Series international rugby union match between South Africa and Wales at Twickenham Stadium, south-west London, on June 22, 2024. (Photo by Glyn KIRK / AFP)

It seemed unlikely that Racing 92 owner Jacky Lorenzetti was ever going to be able to publicly criticise Siya Kolisi without facing some form of backlash.


Following Racing’s quarter-final exit in the Top 14 against Bordeaux-Begles recetly, Lorenzetti took aim at the South Africa captain in an interview with French publication Midi Olympique, describing the double World Cup winner as “transparent” and accusing him of being overweight.

“He had a remarkable start to the season, where he was a unifier off the field,” he said in the interview.

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“The break was harmful to him. He gained weight, lost form and yesterday he was transparent.

“In the back row, we used to have an ultra-present warrior, a warrior called Wenceslas Lauret. For the moment, Siya does not let us forget him.

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“But we think that next year, that will change.”

This opprobrium clearly did not go down well with Springboks head coach Rassie Erasmus.

A day after naming his Springboks squad for the two-Test series with Ireland, Erasmus put to bed months of speculation by confirming that the flanker will continue to lead the side. He also took the opportunity to have a wry pop at Lorenzetti.

“Siya will be captain and Siya will play No6 and Siya’s fit and Siya’s got no injury and Siya’s not fat and Siya’s not transparent,” Erasmus said while breaking into a laugh.


Kolisi had a mixed first season with Racing, which started brilliantly but was curtailed by a hand injury. He did make a return to action for the final two months of the season, but it was a disappointing denouement for the club as a whole, as their season unravelled.

The flanker was not considered for South Africa’s recent 41-13 win over Wales as it fell outside the Test window, but he returned to Erasmus’ 39-player squad that will prepare to take on the reigning Six Nations champions Ireland in July.



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Dan 22 days ago

Its a massive shame how much utter 💩 Rassie spouts to entertain his third world educated thickos in SA.

The lad was a much better human at Munster

John 25 days ago

A lot of boks were banged up post the RWC, makes sense if Siya was a bit tubby after the bus tour. Anyways, he’s a big boy and can handle ppl saying mean things.

Barry 25 days ago

Maybe he's just in a clean camp/team for once?

Very common for folks to gain weight when they abruptly stop cycling HGH.

MattJH 26 days ago

Siya plays almost constantly, year in, year out, and he had some injury troubles.
The standard he plays to for that many games is insane, he won’t always be at his peak, he knows how to reach that for international games.

Thomas 27 days ago

Some stir of the pot before the mid year internationals.

J Marc 28 days ago

Lorrenzetti should not have said that to a journo. But he just said the truth…

Flankly 28 days ago

Not sure what the point is of Lorenzetti saying things like this about a player. Seems gratuitous, even if he believes it. Regardless, Rassie picks players substantially on measured workrate, so if he’s not up to speed then it will be next man up.

Craig 28 days ago

We happy with Siya so no problem.
Rassie is also happy
Bring the games.

Ed the Duck 28 days ago

You might not like it, it may even be unfair and it may well lack class. But Lorenzetti has more than earned the right, euro by euro, to voice his opinion on the form and impact of a player he pays so handsomely for his services!!

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