What we know about the new Springbok captain

Siya Kolisi will be at the helm when the Springboks take on England in the first Test of a three-match series in Johannesburg on Saturday

Kolisi made history last month when it was announced that he would become the first black player to captain the Springbok in an official Test series.

Chiliboy Ralaphele was the first black player to captain the Boks, when he lined up against a World XV at Walkers Stadium in Leicester, the UK., in 2006, but that was not an official Test under SA Rugby rules.

Here are few things we know about the new Bok captain.

According to Sport24, Kolisi was born to teenage parents and is the eldest of three children.

The Bok captain was raised in Zwide township near Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape by a grandmother who took on odd jobs as a domestic worker.

READ MORE: Siya Kolisi to captain Springboks for England Test series

He told the site that his mother was too young to raise him. “I grew up in a very difficult (environment) – not the worst, but it was difficult for me going to school and everything,” he was quoted as saying.

His family loved rugby.

Kolisi had a strong understanding of the game since the age of eight, as his father Fezakele played for the local team.

He was offered a scholarship at Grey Junior at the age of 12 and then moved up the ranks and played for the first XV at Grey High School. Huffington Post reports that his talent was first noticed by the Eastern Province Kings, and he played for them from 2007-2009, before moving to Western Province.

He quickly made grew both as a player and fan favourite and made his senior debut for Province in 2011, and in 2012, graduated to the Stormers squad. He was appointed the Stormers captain in February last year.

Kolisi has played in 28 Tests since making his debut for the Boks at the age of 22 against Scotland on June 2013. He has four Test tries to his name.

He is married to Rachel and according to Huffington Post, they are parents to four children – including Kolisi’s half-siblings, Liyema and Liphelo, who spent five years in orphanages before the Kolisis adopted them.

Talking to BBC Radio 5, now retired Springbok legend Bryan Habana said Saturday’s Test against the visiting English was a pivotal point in South African rugby history.

READ MORE: Rugby star Siya Kolisi set to launch men’s underwear collection

“It’s a monumental moment for South African rugby in terms of the unique history we have.

“For Siya, from where he’s come from and his humble beginnings, to have worked this hard to get to this moment, I think is absolutely fantastic,” he said.

He said what Kolisi had been able to do well on and off the field was to show himself to be a true South African.

“The way he speaks, the way he comes across… he is an inspiration not just for black people in South Africa, but he overcomes quite a few racial boundaries. South African rugby has been waiting almost 24 years post-isolation for our first black captain… hopefully, it inspires and gives back a lot of hope to people,” Habana said.

Sources: BBC, Huffington Post and Sport24