South Africans weigh in on Kolisi's transformation comments

South Africa's Springbok captain Siya Kolisi discusses his views on the transformation of the nation's rugby team in an interview with Kyodo News in Tokyo.

JOHANNESBURG - There was a mixed reaction from South Africans on social media to Springbok Captain Siya Kolisi's comments about racial quotas, with many saying reports on his view about transformation in rugby were taken out of context.

In an interview with Kyodo News in Tokyo in December, Kolisi was asked about transformation, and what he believed former president Nelson Mandela would think about racial quotas.

The Springbok captain was criticised by many on social media, after he said he didn't believe that Madiba would have supported the practice. Others applauded him for his view. 

"I don't think he would have supported that. Well, I don't know him. I think you shouldn't put a number on stuff like that," Kolisi said.

He moved on to explain that transformation in sport needs to start at a grassroots level. 

"If you going to talk about transformation, you've got to start there, in the townships. Imagine if I didn't go to the English school. I wouldn't have been eating properly, I wouldn't have grown properly and I wouldn't have had the preparation like the other boys did."

READ: Mandela wouldn't have backed Springbok racial quotas - Kolisi

He added: "We need to be prepared. In the Currie Cup, you can try out and push people in and see how they do but you can't just... and representing South Africa is tough because we want results and we want transformation."

eNCA.com contacted Siya Kolisi's agent Hilton Houghton for comment, who referred us to the South African Rugby Union, which is unavailable until 14 January.

* Watch the interview above.

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eNCA