sport news Rassie Erasmus was 'naive' about impact of Siya Kolisi becoming first black ...

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'I was a bit naive': Rassie Erasmus admits he did not realise how much of an impact making Siya Kolisi South Africa's first black captain would have and feels his game 'suffered' as a result Siya Kolisi was appointed South Africa's captain in 2018 after a temporary spell  He became the first black Springboks skipper in a huge moment for the nation  But Rassie Erasmus says he underestimated the impact the move would have  Now Kolisi is ready to lead his team out at the World Cup final and is eyeing glory 

By Oli Gamp For Mailonline

Published: 23:35 GMT, 31 October 2019 | Updated: 12:33 GMT, 1 November 2019

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South Africa coach Rassie Erasmus admits he was 'naive' to think making Siya Kolisi the nation's first black captain wouldn't affect the flanker - and said his displays suffered initially.

Kolisi was appointed Springboks captain last year having led the side temporarily when Eben Etzebeth was injured, but was handed the armband permanently by Erasmus shortly after.

Erasmus believes the 28-year-old struggled on the pitch at first in his new role as he got to grips with the significance of being captain after decades of apartheid rule in South Africa, when only white players were allowed to play for the national side.

Rassie Erasmus said Siya Kolisi was 'caught off guard' after his landmark appointment in 2018

But with Kolisi set to lead his country out for the Rugby World Cup final against England on Saturday, he could cap a memorable year by lifting the Webb Ellis Cup.

And his coach says while the magnitude of the role may have been daunting for Kolisi initially, admitting the reaction took him by surprise, he added that the player got 'better and better' with each game. 

'It was a sudden thing, and I was caught a bit off guard- maybe a bit naive - in thinking that this wouldn't be such a massive thing for him,' said Erasmus.

Erasmus feels the Springboks captaincy led to Kolisi's performances taking a hit initially

Erasmus feels the Springboks captaincy led to Kolisi's performances taking a hit

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