Rugby World publishes a list of the most influential people in the game every year and Kolisi took the top spot for 2020, with three more South Africans on the list.
Rassie Erasmus, SA Rugby’s Director of Rugby, who led the Boks’ charge in Japan last year, features at number six on the list, while SA Rugby CEO Jurie Roux is 15th.
The fourth South African in the Top 50 is newly-appointed Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber, who was the assistant coach in charge of the Boks’ defence at the RWC last year, where South Africa conceded only four tries in their seven matches.
Following Kolisi are World Rugby Vice-Chairman Bernard Laporte (second), England lock Maro Itoje (third), and British & Irish Lions coach Warren Gatland, who guided Wales to the RWC semi-finals last year (fourth).
Respected Sunday Times journalist Stephen Jones, a columnist for Rugby World, wrote that Kolisi is definitely the “most influential man in rugby at the moment”.
“He’s also probably the most visionary and the most courageous,” continues Jones.
“Kolisi appreciates the power of rugby, and has the standing and authority and intelligence to be a statesman as well, to know exactly what he is saying and why it means everything.
“You also get the impression for this great man that he is saying exactly what he believes, with no gilding of his words for anyone’s consumption.”
Rugby World’s Top 10 Most Influential People in Rugby in 2020:
- Siya Kolisi
- Bernard Laporte
- Maro Itoje
- Warren Gatland
- Nick Clarry
- Rassie Erasmus
- Claude Atcher
- Eddie Jones
- Dr Eanna Falvey
- Katie Sadleir