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Kolisi back for Toulouse-Racing 92: “Leadership is being in action, not just talking and encouraging”

How are you approaching this round of 16 against Toulouse, who beat you last year in the quarter-finals of the Champions Cup with the Sharks (50-24)? Siya Kolisi: I have to bring everything I can.

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Kolisi back for Toulouse-Racing 92: “Leadership is being in action, not just talking and encouraging”

How are you approaching this round of 16 against Toulouse, who beat you last year in the quarter-finals of the Champions Cup with the Sharks (50-24)? Siya Kolisi: I have to bring everything I can. Toulouse is an incredible team. They set high standards in the Top 14, they achieved so much. For us, it's a perfect opportunity to see what we can do against such a team. I have to play my game, bring my motivation, be a leader as much as I can. Leadership is about doing, not just talking and encouraging. You have to play well as a leader, that's what's most important to me.

Is this the most important match of the season for Racing? Yes, of course! It's different from the Top 14. There, if we lose, the competition is over. Everything we do will count this weekend. This is a huge challenge for us. Toulouse is a very, very strong team, undoubtedly the best there is. This match is the best way to see where we are as a group.

Nolann Le Garrec will be absent on Sunday. What does this change for you? I'm sad for him. Really. He's a great player, very important for us. But another player (probably Clovis Le Bail, Editor's note) will have an opportunity to step up. You never win a competition with 23 players, but with a whole squad. Another player will have the opportunity to show himself and progress. Nolann will come back with us soon.

Also read “I sometimes cry when it’s not easy”: the confessions of Siya Kolisi, captain of the Springboks

Antoine Dupont will play at the opening rather than in the scrum. What does that change? We'll see on Sunday (smile). He is a player who has a natural talent for rugby. His way of reading and seeing the game is incredible. He's different... You have to be ready for anything against him, he's an incredible player. There is one like that per generation. But if you try to stop him and if you are too focused on him, he will free up space for his teammates. He can play anywhere on the field...

Your coach Rassie Erasmus explained that you will lose the captaincy of the Springboks, as you play abroad. How do you experience it? This seems normal to me. Things have always been like this. The captain has always played in South Africa. I knew that before coming here. I don't think about it too much. The idea is that I have to play well here. It's my priority. I want to win a trophy with Racing. For the rest, things are like this, that's the way they are.

How is your new life in France going? I've been here for six months now and everything is going very well. As a player, it's easy to get used to a new environment, everything is in place in terms of organization. For my family, it was different, we had to adapt to new things like school in France. My wife no longer works, this is also new for her. Otherwise, I try to come to the club early to avoid traffic jams (smile). I like to have a little coffee in the morning with my teammates and then there is “Ibou” (Ibrahim Diarra) who gives me a lot of fun.

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