Springbok captain Siya Kolisi added another accolade to his name this week – being named the most “influential person in rugby” by the British magazine Rugby World.
Kolisi, who led the Boks to World Cup glory last year, has been seen as one of the most inspirational figures in world rugby, and has been working tirelessly through his foundation since the lockdown to help those less privileged in the Covid-19 pandemic.
Kolisi is one of two players in the top 10, which sees Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus at six, and also includes Eddie Jones, the England coach.
“Kolisi is definitely the most influential man in rugby at the moment. He’s also probably the most visionary and the most courageous,” writes Rugby World columnist Stephen Jones in the August 2020 edition.
“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.”
Bernard Laporte, the World Rugby vice-president and architect behind France’s 2023 World Cup hosting victory is at No 2, with Itoje rated at three by the magazine, which does the rankings every two years. Warren Gatland is in at No 4 and Jones at eight as the only coaches other than Erasmus in the list.
There are also several administrators in the upper echelons of the list, with Nick Clarry, who heads up the sports division of Equity company CVC, who have invested in PRO14 Rugby and the English Premiership thus far at No 5.
Dr Eanna Falvey, World Rugby’s chief medical officer, who is responsible for making the game safer and Katie Sadleir, head of Women’s Rugby at World Rugby, are the only two women in the top 10. The top ten is completed by RWC 2023 CEO Claude Atcher.
Here’s the top ten of Rugby World’s Most Influential People in Rugby in 2020…
1. Siya Kolisi
2. Bernard Laporte
3. Maro Itoje
4. Warren Gatland
5. Nick Clarry
6. Rassie Erasmus
7. Claude Atcher
8. Eddie Jones
9. Dr Eanna Falvey
10. Katie Sadleir