Super Rugby

Leyds set to answer Stormers flyhalf call

Dillyn Leyds (Gallo)
Dillyn Leyds (Gallo)

Cape Town - In the midst of another flyhalf crisis, Stormers coach Robbie Fleck looks set to turn to Dillyn Leyds to don the No 10 jersey against the Blues at Newlands on Friday. 

Injuries have rocked the Stormers all season, and with Robert du Preez, Jean-Luc du Plessis and Kurt Coleman all sidelined, and with Damian Willemse on SA Under-20 duty, Fleck must put faith in a new playmaker to stop the rot and put an end to what currently sits at a four-match losing streak. 

The Stormers boss confirmed on Monday that he did have the option of veteran Joe Pietersen, who has been training with the side for most of the season, while he had also called up 22-year-old Brandon Thomson from the Western Province SuperSport Challenge side. 

But, the more Fleck spoke about his flyhalf dilemma, the more it seemed like he would be turning to Leyds. 

"Dillyn has done the job for us on tour and there's a good chance we'll play him there," said Fleck.

"It's not easy, but at the end of the day he's been with us the longest. He's been running the show while we've been on tour.

"He knows our structures and our patterns the best."

Du Preez was removed in the 32nd minute of the Stormers' final tour game against the Hurricane two Fridays ago and Leyds had to step in and run the show. 

It was an impressive display from the 24-year-old, despite the Stormers going down 41-22 in Wellington, and it gave ammunition to a large group of rugby pundits who believes that flyhalf is Leyds' natural position. 

"There are certain skills that Dillyn brings that are quite unique to the table as a 10," Fleck said. 

"A lot of us have been looking forward to seeing him play flyhalf. It's been a talking point for the last three years.

"For me, he's in the form of his life but he has been playing on the wing and certain games at the back.

"We need to make a decision if that's the best move for the team or for him, because he's playing so well in those positions. If we take him out of one position, do we weaken that position or not?"

Leyds has been in incredible form this season. 

He has scored five tries in 10 appearances, but his dangerous running and individual flair is what has really stood out while he has also displayed a good kicking and tackling game. 

"He's the one guy who is leading by example at the moment ... he understands our game and he's an exciting prospect at 10," Fleck continued.

"He's a danger with ball-in-hand, he takes the ball flat, he makes his tackles, he's a good organiser ... let's see how we go for the rest of the week.

"It's going to be an interesting selection, but he's certainly not a fish out of water playing at 10. He played his whole schoolboy career at 10. He's a playmaker and he slots in there from the back."

Leyds has been vocal in seasons past on his desire to play at flyhalf, and it looks like he could be given his big break this weekend. 

There are a few important faces returning for the Stormers this week, and one of those is Sevens ace Seabelo Senatla, who has recovered from a foot injury. 

If Senatla comes in on the left wing, that could soften the blow of Leyds making the move to flyhalf. 

"It's not an easy selection. You want to get your best combinations working and we haven't really been allowed to do that with the injuries we've had," said Fleck.

Damian de Allende and Juan de Jongh are also available this weekend. 

Fleck is expected to name his side on Wednesday.