Skinstad: Bok fans underestimate what Siya Kolisi brings to the team

Skinstad: Bok fans underestimate what Siya Kolisi brings to the team

Former Springbok captain Bobby Skinstad believes that one player in particular will be crucial if they are to overcome the number one ranked side Ireland this weekend.

The two teams go head-to-head in Pool B on Saturday, with the winner going a long way to securing top spot in the group.

Jacques Nienaber has once again named an incredibly strong side for the clash, with the headline being the 7-1 split on the bench.

They will be led by Siya Kolisi, who recovered from a serious knee injury to make this tournament.

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And Kolisi is the individual Skinstad thinks will be absolutely vital for the Springboks. Although he is renowned for his captaincy skills and ability to inspire, the 47-year-old insists that his on-field talents have been underrated.

"South Africa have a secret weapon in Siya Kolisi. He has been absolutely outstanding in terms of net contributions, which sometimes go under the radar because he's not a flashy player," the former back-row told the Irish News.

"He carries, tackles, gets over the ball and helps in every aspect of the game - he's the glue that holds the team together.

"When he's not there you notice the breakdown is more peaceful but when he's on the pitch he creates chaos at the ruck and is in trying to pinch the ball and slowing things down."

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Skinstad is also relishing the duel at flyhalf as the talented Manie Libbok takes on the experienced Irishman Johnny Sexton.

"The battle of the 10s will be crucial. South Africa have a young, enthusiastic and exciting 10 in Manie Libbok, while Ireland have Sexton who has been in that role for a long time and other guys who can step in to fulfil that game plan," he said.

"Saturday will be about the big players stepping up to the occasion. The spine of the team - the like of James Ryan, Josh van der Flier and Sexton will need to have big games.

"From a South African perspective, the likes of Etzebeth coming back into the team will be significant."

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