Siya Kolisi. Picture: ASHLEY VLOTMAN
Siya Kolisi. Picture: ASHLEY VLOTMAN

World Cup-winning captain Siya Kolisi has ended his 11-year stay with the Stormers and is expected to be unveiled by the Sharks in the coming week.

The move has long been mooted, with Western Province Rugby (WPR) confirming on Sunday that it had released Kolisi early from his contract, which was due to expire at the end of October, having accepted a transfer fee from an unnamed team.

“Kolisi’s current contract was set to come to an end in October 2021 and though the union did everything possible to re-sign him, he chose not to take it up and has been released early from his contract, upon acceptance of a transfer fee,” a WPR statement said.

Ever since American investor MVM Holdings acquired a controlling stake in the Sharks in January, Kolisi’s potential move to Durban has been the subject of much speculation.

Investors in the MVM consortium include Roc Nation Sports president Michael Yormark and Vincent Mai, who was instrumental in Kolisi receiving a scholarship to attend Grey High School.

Roc Nation, a talent agency owned by American rapper Jay Z, signed Kolisi before the end of 2019 after the Boks had won the World Cup. His likely move to KwaZulu-Natal appears to be rooted in that relationship.

Kolisi signed with WPR straight out of school, starting at the WPR Institute and playing in the Under-19 team in 2010, which also featured Frans Malherbe, Scarra Ntubeni, Eben Etzebeth, Nizaam Carr and Damian de Allende.

He made his senior debut in 2011 before going on to earn his first Super Rugby cap in 2012.

He ends his time at WPR as the second-most capped Stormers player, with the legendary Schalk Burger (123) the only player to have topped his 118 Super Rugby caps for the franchise.

In 2017 Kolisi was appointed Stormers captain and led the team for two full Super Rugby campaigns before he was appointed Springbok captain in 2018.

Stormers coach John Dobson wished Kolisi well and thanked him for his significant contributions over the years. “Siya Kolisi will always be a Stormers legend. His story is well known throughout the world and everyone here is grateful to have played a role in that. We would have loved for him to stay and finish his career where it started but we wish him all the best,” said Dobson.

Kolisi said that he will always cherish the memories of his time with WPR. “I would like to thank everyone at Western Province Rugby for what has been an incredible time in my life in which I have grown as a rugby player and a person,” he said.

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