South Africa’s rugby team has a black captain.
Siya Kolisi was on Monday announced as the Springboks captain, the first time in the team’s history that the armband has been given to black player.
BREAKING! Siya Kolisi has been appointed to captain the Springboks in the Castle Lager Incoming Series against England next month, while Pieter-Steph du Toit will lead the side against Wales in Washington. Both men will captain the Springboks for the first time. #LoveRugby pic.twitter.com/rcy3jPgnbt
— South African Rugby (@Springboks) May 28, 2018
Kolisi first stint as the South Africa team’s leader will come next month at the three-test home series against England.
He had however already become the first black player to temporarily captain the team in a test last year when Eben Etzebeth was injured during a game in Wales.
Etzebeth and Warren Whiteley, who has been South Africa’s regular captain for the past two years, are out injured and there is no timeframe on their return, so Kolisi was formally given the job by new coach Rassie Erasmus ahead of the start of the season.
Kolisi’s appointment is regarded as a pivotal moment in the Springboks’ history, as South Africa continues to fully emerge from decades of white racist rule under the apartheid regime.
During the apartheid period, only whites were allowed to play for the Springboks.
The team has in recent years been scrutinized at home due to the dominance of white players.
Following Kolisi’s appointment, South Africans flooded social media with congratulatory messages, wishing him and the team success in the future.
Here are some messages posted on Twitter;
Congrats to Siya Kolisi for being named The Captain of the Springbok.Big up brother you deserve it and all the best in future we got your back. God is Great
— Steven Pienaar (@therealstevenpi) May 28, 2018
To Siya Kolisi who been appointed to captain the Springboks in the Castle Lager Incoming Series against England next month –
Big ups – well deserved, Sport must transform. pic.twitter.com/eMCNGlKSvT
— ANC Elections Head ( Chief ) (@MbalulaFikile) May 28, 2018
Such a significant day for SA rugby. Congratulations and best of luck to Pieter-Steph du Toit and Siya Kolisi – soon to become Springbok captains No60 and No61
— Dan Retief (@Retief_Dan) May 28, 2018