What is your assessment of this World Cup?Siya Kolisi: During the last World Cup, the country was full of hope and told itself that it was possible to do something. But after the victory, we understood that this team was immense. Much has been written about our country. For us, it's a privilege, not a pressure. We can inspire lots of people in the country, not just athletes. We all come from different backgrounds. Personally, I had my reasons for playing rugby and we each had ours, but our country is what unites us. You have to be a South African to understand that. When we come together, when we all work for the same goal, we give our all. Having goals without working hard is useless. It's wonderful for us to be here.
How did you feel when Sam Cane was red carded? It's never easy for a player to get a card. We knew they would come back stronger. We talked about it at halftime and that's what they did.
Were you afraid that your yellow card would turn red? I was afraid. But watching the video, you can see that I'm changing levels, so it was a secondary movement. It was difficult and messy, but we've been in this kind of situation before and I trusted my teammates. When I came back, I gave everything. What's the difference between the 2019 title and the 2023 title? I would say this year's journey was more difficult. We knew it since the draw. Jacques (Nienaber) and Rassie (Erasmus) have always told us that. Great things are never achieved under ideal conditions. We played the host country, we played a difficult England. The motivation came from home and our families. The coaches have created an environment that allows us to be with our families, wherever we are, as if we were at home. There are 15 to 20 kids running around the hotel... It's one of the nicest things they could have done for us. People from South Africa, some of our friends, spent their savings to come see us. If I didn't give 100% on the pitch, I would fool all these people and that's what the coaches always remind us. To motivate ourselves, we don't have to look far.
Pieter-Steph du Toit had a great match today...He has improved so much. At times, he would pass me by to tackle. He was super motivating. What he can do on the field and what he brings as a leader is crazy. He is often there to motivate the team and his actions always match his words.
What role did your coaches play? I can't believe what we accomplished today. The coaching staff has been amazing. I have been working with Jacques (Nienaber) since I was 17. I didn't know how to tackle. When he and Rassie (Erasmus) came to training, it was full contact. We had to show that we were capable of doing it. Since then, he has motivated us during matches. We grew up alongside him - me, Frans (Malherbe), Steven Kitshoff and Pieter-Steph (du Toit). As I said last week, he was interested in us as people. He asked us if we were going to abandon our daughter or our son. It became much deeper than just a rugby match. Jacques, honestly, it is a great honor for me and a great privilege. (He turns to him) Your wife, your children..., I appreciate you. We love you, not just as a coach, but as a person. You speak to me as a person, as a father, as a husband, as a son, it goes so far that I thank you.