Siya Kolisi Biography, Early Life, Club Careers, International Career, Personal Life and Honours

Siya Kolisi

Siya Kolisi Biography, Early Life, Club Careers, International Career, Personal Life and Honours

Full name: Siyamthanda Kolisi

Date of birth: 16 June 1991

Place of birth: Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape, Republic of South Africa

Spouse: Rachel (née Smith) Kolisi (m. 2016)

Children: 2

Nationality: South African

Siyamthanda Kolisi OIG is a professional rugby union player from South Africa. He was born on June 16, 1991, and is currently captain of the South Africa national team. He used to play for the Stormers and Sharks in South Africa and now plays for Racing 92 in the French Top 14.

He plays flanker and wide forward most of the time. Kolisi was named captain of the Springboks in 2018, making him the first black man to hold the job. and finally led the South African rugby team to victory over England in the 2019 Rugby World Cup Final.

Kolisi was named one of the 100 most influential Africans by New African magazine in December 2019. Because of his work in rugby, the South African government gave Kolisi the National Order of Ikhamanga in April 2023. Siya Kolisi led South Africa to a historic fourth Rugby World Cup in Paris, France, in October 2023.

He was only the second leader to win the title back-to-back. Kolisi is one of only 44 players in Rugby World Cup history to have won it more than once. He is also one of only 25 South Africans to have done so.

Early Life

Kolisi grew up in West Africa, in a village called Zwide, iBhayi. Siya’s mother, Phakama, was 16 years old when he was born, and his father, Fezakele, was in his last year of school. When Kolisi was 15, his mother died, leaving his late grandmother, Nolulamile, to raise him.

At age 12, he played well enough at a youth event in Mossel Bay to get a scholarship to go to Grey Junior in Port Elizabeth. After that, Grey High School offered him a rugby scholarship. South African bowler Graeme Pollock and England international Mike Catt had both gone there.

Kolisi played rugby for his high school’s first XV team all the time. He also played for the Eastern Province Kings’ youth team from 2007 to 2009, in the Under-16 Grant Khomo Week and the Under-18 Craven Week.

After that, he moved west to play for Western Province. Besides that, he played for the South Africa national under-18 rugby union team (SA Schools team) for two years in a row.

Club Career

Kolisi’s first game as a senior for Western Province was against the Golden Lions in the 2011 Vodacom Cup. Later that same year, injuries and international calls ups gave him the chance to start a lot of games in the Currie Cup, South Africa’s premier rugby tournament. During the season, he played 13 times and scored 4 tries, including a key score against the Blue Bulls, who were bitter foes.

Kolisi moved up to the Stormers team in 2012 and showed right away what he could do by playing 16 games and getting one try. He only played in one game of the 2012 Currie Cup because of an injury to his thumb in the second part of the year. He had to watch from the sidelines as Province won their 33rd Currie Cup.

Kolisi came back strong the next year and kept his spot on the Stormers team even though there was a lot of competition for loose forwards. He played 13 times and scored 2 tries, which was his first international notice.

Being a part of the Springbok team for the 2013 Rugby Championship meant that he could only play in Western Province’s last three Currie Cup games. They lost to the Sharks 33–19 at home in the final, which was an upset.

Kolisi was chosen on February 20, 2017, to be the new captain of the Stormers. As of May 28, 2018, he was named captain of the Springboks. In the team’s 126-year history, he was the first black leader.

It’s a monumental moment for South African rugby and a moment in South African history, said Bryan Habana, a former Springbok who is mixed race.

Kolisi was on the board of directors of MyPlayers Rugby, the group for all professional rugby players in South Africa from which he comes.

Kolisi signed with the Sharks in February 2021, after MVM Holidings successfully bought most of the Sharks’ shares.

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International Career

The South Africa under-20 team that played in both the 2010 and 2011 IRB Junior World Championships had Kolisi on it.

Kolisi played his first game for South Africa as Springbok 851 against Scotland at the Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit on June 15, 2013. In the fifth minute, he came on for the hurt Arno Botha and was named Man of the Match as South Africa won 30–17.

He then made nine more substitute starts during the 2013 international season, solidifying his place as a regular member of the national team. Kolisi also played for South Africa in two Rugby World Cup games in 2015, against Japan and Samoa.

At Ellis Park on June 9, 2018, Kolisi led the Springboks in their first-ever Test match against England. He was the first black player to do so. He was captain of the South African team that won the Webb Ellis Cup by beating England 32–12 in the final of the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Yokohama, Japan.

South Africa tied New Zealand for the most World Cup wins with three. Siya Kolisi was the first black captain of a team that won the World Cup in 2019.

Personal Career

In 2016, Kolisi married Rachel Smith. As of 2022, they have two children: a boy named Nicholas Siyamthanda (born 2015) and a daughter named Keziah (born 2017).  Liyema and Liphelo, Siya’s half-siblings and the children of her late mother, have lived with the Kolisi family since 2014.

They had been in shelters and foster care in Port Elizabeth for five years. Rachel is from Grahamstown and is one year older than Siya. Before she became a full-time mom, she worked as an event manager.

Kolisi is a very religious Christian.

Kolisi really loves the English football team Liverpool F.C.

Grey High School, where Kolisi went to school, happily changed the name of its first XV rugby field to “The Kolisi Field” in 2022 to honour its most famous former student.


The COVID-19 pandemic in South Africa led Kolisi and his wife to start The Kolisi Foundation in 2020. The foundation wants to change the stories that people tell about injustice in South Africa.

The Kolisi Foundation works to fix structural problems in Gender-Based Violence, Food Insecurity, Education, and Sport. They pay special attention to Zwide township, where Kolisi grew up, and other South African areas that don’t have enough resources.

During the pandemic, Kolisi and his cricket playing friend Faf du Plessis gave food to the Bonteheuwel community street meal program.

Kolisi was made a UN Global Advocate for the Spotlight Initiative to end violence against women and girls in July 2020.

Net Worth

Siya Kolisi has a net worth of about £5 million as of 2023.

Besides his salary as a professional rugby union player, he also makes money from endorsements and other means.


  • 2015 Rugby World Cup third place bronze medalist – Winner
  • 2019 Rugby Championship – Winning Captain
  • 2019 Rugby World Cup Japan – Winning Captain
  • 2021 British and Irish Lions Series Tour – Winning Captain
  • 2023 Qatar Airways Cup at Twickenham vs New Zealand – Winning Captain
  • 2023 Rugby World Cup – Winning Captain

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