Rugby-Kolisi happy to be reunited with World Cup winning loose trio


FILE PHOTO: Rugby Union - 3rd Test - South Africa v Wales - Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town, South Africa - July 16, 2022 South Africa's Siya Kolisi celebrates after the match REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko/File Photo

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South Africa captain Siya Kolisi can't wait to be reunited with his Rugby World Cup winning loose trio partners against New Zealand on Saturday, the first time they have played together since lifting the William Webb Ellis trophy three years ago.

The Boks host the All Blacks in a second Rugby Championship test at their fortress Ellis Park, looking to build on their 26-10 victory in Nelspruit last weekend that was their biggest victory over New Zealand in 94 years.

Kolisi will scrum with fellow flank Pieter-Steph du Toit and Duane Vermeulen for the first time since the 2019 World Cup final, where they were instrumental in the Boks beating England 32-12 in Yokohama.

Injury has largely kept them apart up to now, but they will be a handful on attack and defence for the All Blacks, and potent at the breakdown.

"It is the same game-plan as we had during the World Cup and we expect the same from each other," Kolisi told reporters on Saturday. "It doesn't matter who I'm playing with, I have to deliver the same level.

"My job doesn't change but having someone like Duane back in the team with that level of experience... I need as much experience around me on the field as I can get."

Kolisi says the Boks want to keep building momentum a little over a year out from the start of their World Cup defence in France and beating the All Blacks two weeks in a row would lay down a major marker, even if the latter are battling for form.

"We take it game by game; we don't want to be thinking too far ahead. All we can control is how hard we work and how hard we play on Saturday. It's important for us to play well and win. We want to make sure we give it everything we can.

"We want to make sure we are building momentum going forward, not just for now, but next year as well."

The Boks have won nine of their previous 14 tests against the All Blacks at Ellis Park and are seeking a third straight victory in matches played at any venue.

(Reporting by Nick Said; Editing by Christian Radnedge)

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