Super Rugby

Gelant arrival allows Willemse freedom to grow as Stormers No 10

Damian Willemse (Gallo)
Damian Willemse (Gallo)

The arrival of fullback Warrick Gelant from the Bulls will see Stormers coach John Dobson back Damian Willemse exclusively at flyhalf when rugby returns. 

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The 22-year-old Willemse, who won the 2019 Rugby World Cup with the Springboks, was backed at No 10 at the start of the 2020 Super Rugby but had been shifted to fullback by the time the season was suspended after seven rounds of fixtures. 

But now, with the highly-rated Gelant a specialist No 15 and with Jean-Luc du Plessis leaving the Stormers to pursue his career in Japan, Willemse looks set to go back to flyhalf. 

According to the Stormers website, before negotiations were entered into with Gelant, Dobson consulted with some of the players, including Willemse.

"The first person before we even spoke seriously to Warrick was Damian and he was thrilled at the idea," Dobson said. 

"When I told Siya (Kolisi) about it he got on the phone to Warrick because he is a great professional and a good team man who looks after himself really well.

"We run it by the players, there is no point bringing in players who aren’t going to fit in.

"Damian is very happy where he is, it is what is good for the team and we are going to make him into a very good Super Rugby flyhalf.

"Damian is one of the best Super Rugby 10s in South Africa and he is going to get even better with more time to prepare and train and focus on that position."

- Compiled by Sport24 staff

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