Siya Kolisi has revealed that Dan Carter was part of the reason why he joined Racing 92, after he sought advice from the All Blacks’ great.
Kolisi was unveiled as Racing 92’s newest signing ahead of the 2023/24 season last week, with Carter playing a small role in his decision.
Kolisi had options
Naturally, that meant that his services were well-sought after across the globe despite signing a contract extension with the Sharks until 2027 in May 2022.
Although he would not have been short on offers from Europe and Japan, Kolisi says there were only two countries he would leave South Africa to further his career.
“I had always said to myself, since I was young, that if I had to leave [South Africa] one day, it would be for France or Japan,” Kolisi told L’Equipe.
He added that his family played a role in his final decision, and being able to spend more time with them, meant France was the best choice.
“At my age and at this time of my life, I also have to make decisions for my family. What was important was also to be able to be with my family on a daily basis, because in the Top 14, there are not that many trips. Over a season, you are far away from home, about sixteen days, which is not too much.” he said.
Why Racing 92?
Having decided that France would best suit him, Kolisi said that once discussions began with Racing 92, there was no other club that he spoke to despite interest from Toulon.
The Springboks will be based in Toulon during the World Cup, and in October, Kolisi visited the club’s facilities and trained there while on a break before the Autumn Nations Series and visiting Cheslin Kolbe. However, the Bok captain said he already knew where he wanted to go.
“I only had discussions with Racing. Toulon is a great club, but I already knew where I wanted to go, and I wasn’t interested in talking with other teams,” he said.
“I saw how much Racing wanted me, and that was all I needed.”
Advice from Carter
While Kolisi was set on joining Racing, he did do his homework and sought the advice of All Blacks’ great Carter before finalising the deal.
“He’s part of the reasons why I came to Racing,” Kolisi explained.
“I talked to him a lot about it, I called to ask him questions and he only had good things to say for the club.”
“He warned me that here there was a lot of distractions for the players, but that you have to make sure stay focused on rugby,” he added.
The 67 Test cap international added that he is excited to get to work with Stuart Lancaster, who will take charge of the Top 14 side ahead of the new season.
“When a coach like him really wants you, that he has a vision for you, that he knows how to use your game, it’s important. I can’t wait to see how he can make me progress,” he said.
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The article Siya Kolisi: Springbok captain reveals that Dan Carter is part of the reason he joined Racing 92 appeared first on Planetrugby.com.