Captain Springbok will trade the Sharks for Racing 92 after the World Cup

Siya Kolisi of South Africa before the Autumn International match at Twickenham Stadium in London.  Photo date: Saturday, November 26, 2022. Credit: Alamy

Siya Kolisi of South Africa before the Autumn International match at Twickenham Stadium in London. Photo date: Saturday, November 26, 2022. Credit: Alamy

The Sharks have announced that they have granted Springbok captain Siya Kolisi an early release from his contract to join the Top 14 Racing 92 club after the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

Kolisi joined the Sharks in 2021 and has become an integral member of the Durban-based team. He naturally played a key leadership role and was recently named team captain for the 2022/23 Champions Cup season.

Departure with the blessing of the Sharks

The Sharks have said the 31-year-old will leave them with his full blessing when he bids farewell to the team after the World Cup in France this year.

Sharks general manager Eduard Coetzee said he looks forward to continuing Kolisi’s contributions to the team for the rest of the season and wishes him well for the next stage of his career.

“Siya has been an instrumental and much loved member of the Cell C Sharks family since his arrival two years ago. His well-documented and commendable leadership qualities extend far beyond the pitch, and that’s no more evident than his commitment to launching the Players First program as well as his commitment to expanding The Sharks brand into the global market, the official Sharks website said.

“His move to France is a new and exciting opportunity and we couldn’t be happier for him. We are blessed that he has donned the black and white jersey and we know he will continue to give himself to the team and our fans over the next few months.

The Sharks also revealed that Kolisi’s multi-year contract is part of a wider long-term partnership between them and Racing 92, with both clubs reaching an amicable settlement while looking forward to continuing to build a mutually beneficial relationship in the future.

The cooperation will include quarterly meetings of owners and management and the exchange of ideas on player sharing, coaching knowledge and branding.

Racing 92 will become part of the Sharks’ global network of relationships as they seek to expand their brand in Europe and the North American market in the years leading up to the 2031 Rugby World Cup in the US.

Kolisi thanked the Sharks for allowing him to take on a new challenge from the 2023/24 season.

“It has been an amazing partnership between Sharks and Racing 92 that has enabled me to start a new chapter in my career after the 2023 World Championship,” he said.

“I want to say a big thank you to Cell C Sharks for welcoming me with open arms in 2021 and for making me feel at home in Durban while their support over the last few years has had a huge impact on a pivotal period in my career.

Huge recognition

“I am extremely grateful that the Sharks have blessed me to make this move, and it goes without saying that I will continue to give my best for the team over the next few months.”

Looking ahead, Coetzee added: “Over the past two years, we’ve been focused on building a strong depth in our roster and we’re looking forward to our upcoming matches and seeing the Cell C Sharks play to their full potential.”

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