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Boks v All Blacks: World Cup-winning loose trio together again

For the first time since the 2019 World Cup final, Siya Kolisi, Pieter-Steph du Toit and Duane Vermeulen will be playing together, when the Springboks take on the All Blacks in the second Rugby Championship Test at Ellis Park on Saturday (kick-off 5:05pm).

After a Covid disrupted 2020 saw no international action, 2021 then saw all three play for the Boks but at different times, with Vermeulen injured during the British and Irish Lions series, and Du Toit then injured by the time Vermeulen had returned.  

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“I actually thought we had played together. I played with Pieter-Steph during the Lions series and then with Duane in the Rugby Championship. So we only realised earlier in the week that this would be the first time since then. But nothing has changed for us,” said Kolisi.

“It is the same instructions and game plan that we had during the World Cup and we expect the same from each other. So I am looking forward to playing with them both again, but it doesn’t matter who I am playing with. I have to deliver the same and make sure that my job doesn’t change.

“But it’s great having someone like Duane back in the team with his experience and being an important game against an All Black team that I need as much experience around me as possible.

“With Pieter-Steph being back it doesn’t feel like he was injured the way he is going. So it is great to have them both back.”

SA women’s team

Kolisi was also full of praise for the South African women’s team, after the men participated in a group team picture session with them on Friday morning, with them playing the curtain raiser against Spain on Saturday at 1pm.

“It was beautiful what happened this morning. I have been a big supporter of them for a very long time. I would go to their games, I would chat to them on social media, I try post about them because I believe they work just as hard as we do, if not harder.,” said Kolisi.

“We know in general female sport stars don’t really get as much as we do and I think it’s up to us as men to celebrate them ourselves and talk about them. Every year our women’s team is getting better and better.

“Some of the players are now playing for international teams, some are at Saracens, some are at Exeter, and they just won against Japan, who beat Australia. That’s something that I don’t think is celebrated enough.”

Kolisi continued: “It’s a big thing, not just for them but for us as a country because now you don’t only have young boys that believe they can make it, but young girls too who can dream big. So to see them and spend time with them was amazing.

“People should come out earlier on Saturday). You have a reason to start braaiing earlier and have a few cold ones because the women are playing at 1pm against Spain and I think it’s going to be an amazing game and we must continue to support them because they need it and they are representing all of us.”

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