Super Rugby

Stormers to turn to Welsh veteran to fill midfield holes?

Cape Town - The Stormers, short of options in midfield ahead of this year's Super Rugby season, may have found a 97-Test Welsh veteran to help boost their title chances.

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New Stormers coach John Dobson is on the hunt for specialist inside and outside centres with the tournament 18 days away from commencing.

Damian de Allende and JJ Engelbrecht (both Japan), Dan Kriel (Lions) and EW Viljoen (England) have all left the union, creating something of a headache for management.

Scottish centre and former Stormers midfielder, Huw Jones, was touted as a possible solution, but that deal appears to have fallen flat.

However, according to the Rapport newspaper, a third party has helped to make a deal for Wales' Jamie Roberts possible after WP Rugby's current financial woes meant it couldn't pay for his housing and transport costs.

The newspaper went on to suggest that the only potential stumbling block that could derail the 33-year-old's move to Cape Town is if his current English club Bath begin to underperform and change their mind about letting him leave.

The 6-foot-4, 110kg Roberts earned 97 Test caps between 2008-2017, including 94 for Wales and three for the British & Irish Lions.

Should Roberts sign on the dotted line, it will not be the first time the Stormers have turned to an foreign player to help bolster their squad, having signed New Zealander Shaun Treeby on a short-term deal in 2017.

At present, the Stormers' midfield options are Dan du Plessis, Sevens convert Ruhan Nel, Michal Haznar and youngsters Rikus Pretorius and Matt Moore. However, Nel will not be available for the Super Rugby playoffs - should the Stormers progress that far - as he has committed to the Blitzboks in their preparation for the Tokyo Olympics.

The Stormers begin their 2020 Super Rugby campaign at home to the Hurricanes on Saturday, February 1.

Kick-off is at 15:05.

- Compiled by Garrin Lambley

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