President Cyril Ramaphosa has spoken to Springbok captain Siya Kolisi to wish him and the team all the best ahead of their crunch Rugby World Cup semi-final encounter with the Welsh in Yokohama, Japan, on Sunday.
— Springboks (@Springboks) October 26, 2019
The match kicks off at 11 o’clock South African time.
The Springboks are aiming to reach their third World Cup final, while the Welsh are desperate to advance to their first.
The winner of the clash will take on England next weekend to claim the title of Rugby World Champions.
President Ramaphosa made a video call to the Springbok captain.
“I must tell you that I am so proud of you, yourself personally. I’m very proud of the team as well. You guys have done extremely well. I now know that I don’t have to come and play any role in the squad I mean, I could have wanted to help, but I don’t need to help you guys have done extremely well. We are very proud of you.”
President @CyrilRamaphosa has assured @Springboks captain Siya Kolisi that the national rugby team will enjoy the support of all South Africans in their #RugbyWorldCup19 semi-final against Wales tomorrow, Sunday 27 October 2019. #RWC2019 https://t.co/uk8Z7Spx5L
— PresidencyZA (@PresidencyZA) October 26, 2019
Kolisi says his team will be playing for the whole of South Africa on Sunday. He has experienced first-hand what winning a World Cup means for South Africa.
He added that the squad is grateful for the support.
“We really do appreciate the people’s support back home. We know so many people want to be here but can’t make it and we just want to say that we really appreciate it. We are doing this for them – for South Africa. We’re doing it for all the people back at home.”
The team believes they will be able to deal with the pressure of facing Wales in the second semi-final however Kolisi says they will be tough opposition.
“We know what we need to do. And they also know how to do a rush defence so they will know how to handle it when it comes their way. But honestly, we haven’t changed much. We’re gonna do what you’ve seen the last couple of weeks. The most important thing is to make sure that you do it better than the previous week.”
Meanwhile, England recorded a stunning 19-7 upset over defending champions, New Zealand in the first semi-final played on Saturday.