Siya Kolisi - Jeremy Daniel (Trade Paperback)

Against All Odds

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Siya Kolisi kept his emotions under wraps as he walked out into the roar of the stadium. It was the 26-year-old's first game as Springbok captain. He let out a slow, controlled breath and clasped the hand of the young fan accompanying him onto the field.

As a boy, the odds were stacked against Siya Kolisi. Born into poverty in the township of Zwide near Port Elizabeth, he was raised by his grandmother as his mother was too young to cope and his father worked in Cape Town. Food was scarce and he often went to bed hungry.

But Siya had one great passion: rugby. He would spend his free time playing for the African Bombers Club until, one day, he was offered a rugby scholarship to Grey High School. Thus began one of the most remarkable success stories in rugby history, one that culminated in his appointment as the first black Springbok captain.

Against All Odds traces Siya's journey from a dusty township to the great arenas of international rugby. It is a remarkable story of grit and determination. From SA Schools matches to success with the Stormers and Western Province to the devastating lows brought on by injury, Siya just keeps on going. As Springbok captain, he carries the hopes of a rugby-mad nation. Read about the journey, against all odds, of a great South African.

Product Details

20 Aug 2019
Content Source
South African
Supply Source
South Africa


Jeremy Daniel
Jonathan Ball


When Siya Kolisi leads the Springboks out onto the field at the Rugby World Cup in September 2019, it will be the crowning glory of an incredible journey that began on the impoverished streets of Zwide, a township outside Port Elizabeth.

As the first black South African to captain a Springbok rugby team, Kolisi’s remarkable story is unique and deserves to be heard. His mother was a teenager when he was born. She left him in the care of his grandmother who brought him up until she died (in his arms) when Siya was twelve. He found love and acceptance playing junior rugby with the African Bombers club until his talent was spotted by the prestigious Grey High School who offered Siya a full scholarship that changed his life.

He adapted well to the posh private school, but it was on the rugby field where he excelled. Siya was rewarded with a call-up the SA schools team and a contract to join the Western Province rugby union.

Author Jeremy Daniel tracks Siya’s journey from running wild on the streets of Zwide, through some crucial games in high school, into the Western Province rugby set-up and his fight to become Springbok captain. He goes deep inside the systems that identify junior talent, the characters who shaped his journey and the moments where he showed who he really
was. Siya never forgot where he came from, and ultimately adopted his mother’s other two children after she died when he was in high school.

His life has not been without controversy, and his marriage to a fiery young white woman was a lightning rod for racial politics. But he is a shining beacon of hope for South Africa, he is massively popular and there is a huge appetite from the public to know about his life and to support him as Springbok captain.


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