The flanker was out with a knee injury and it has since been confirmed that he will miss the next two Test matches against the All Blacks and Argentina, but he was still seen running up and down the touchline helping his team-mates.
The 28-year-old has been adulated on social media by South African fans, being described as a “true leader”, “humble” and for showing “what true leadership is”.
The way in which Kolisi congratulated debutant Herschel Jantjies after he came off the field embodies his commitment to his team and his attitude.
While some may dispute his place in the team purely on his playing credentials, there is no denying that many fans appreciate the leadership qualities that he brings.
Springbok depth, not starting XV, was the winner on Saturday
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) July 21, 2019
This is a similar situation that the Springboks have had in past World Cups, particularly when John Smit was selected ahead of Bismarck du Plessis simply based on his leadership qualities. Smit led the Springboks to World Cup victory in 2007, so that decision was always vindicated.
Similarly, with the wealth of talent at Rassie Erasmus’ disposal, some may argue that there are better flankers, but Kolisi has already exhibited his leadership skills.
Furthermore, prior to his injury, the Stormers flanker was also in terrific form and worthy of a starting berth for his nation. This is what the fans have said:
I’ve never seen a captain who was a water boy in SA Rugby? Kolisi did that today. Couldn’t play but was willing to give his troopers some water! We are led Siyamthanda ??
— Ntumekelelo Kondile (@ntumz1) July 20, 2019
— Bomza mafanya (@bomza_mafanya) July 20, 2019
Siya Kolisi bringing out the drinks for the boys today. Not only a father of four, but a humble leader. ??
— Sibongile Mafu (@sboshmafu) July 20, 2019
Siya Kolisi, what a great leader. A true definition of servant leadership.. Truly inspiring seeing him running up & down serving his teammates despite the injury. Call him a water boy, I call him a servant & inspiring, true leader. #GoBokke @Springboks pic.twitter.com/9HdBJSDXHA
— Sifiso Gumede (@Sifiso_Gumede) July 21, 2019
Siya Kolisi wasn’t the first-ever captain to play waterboy for his team while injured,but it underlined his commitment to the cause. As someone said: “In order to lead, you must first serve.”
— Derek Alberts (@derekalberts1) July 21, 2019
Siya Kolisi wanted to be at the game so bad he was even willing to be the water boy. We are led ??
— L O Y D (@DJLOYD) July 20, 2019
Injured bok captain Siya Kolisi serving his team as waterboy. Leadership.
— Brad Preston (@BradNPreston) July 20, 2019
— Penza (@pedvr) July 20, 2019
@Siya_Kolisi what a great example as our captain. Supporting your team by serving them. Give that man a bells!
— Theresa Brits (@theresabrits) July 20, 2019
Siya Kolisi being a waterboy has shown me what true true leadership is
— black hugh hefner (@sandiledube_) July 20, 2019
Alongside Eben Etzebeth, the Springboks have two leaders in the pack that will put them in good stead for the Rugby Championship and the World Cup.
However, while Kolisi is back in training and set to play for Western Province in the Currie Cup, it is unclear when he will return to the Springboks fold. But he is still leading the team any way he can and has won over many fans in the process.
WATCH: Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus fronts up to media after the win over the Wallabies
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