Super Rugby

Treeby highlights differences between SA and NZ rugby

Shaun Treeby (Getty Images)
Shaun Treeby (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Stormers centre Shaun Treeby feels there are still differences between the South African and New Zealand rugby.

The Kiwi midfielder represented the Stormers as a loan player during this season’s Super Rugby competition.

In an interview with, Treeby said he was impressed by the willingness shown by South African teams to attack.

“There has been a definite shift to a more expansive style of play. As you’ve seen with the Lions and Stormers they move the ball around far more than what a traditional South African side used to," Treeby said.

This change in mindset from the South African teams is a positive step, but there are still distinct differences in skill development, Treeby believes.

“In New Zealand from a young age skill work is a huge part of training,” he said. “Coming here, I found it interesting that many of my team-mates, especially the forwards, didn’t do that much skill work growing up. However, there’s a much greater emphasis on technical skills now. We’re focusing on off-loads and doing more skill work at the Stormers.”

The appointment of former Blues backline coach, Paul Feeney, as assistant coach has been instrumental in the Stormers adopting a more skills-based approach, according to Treeby.

However, line speed on defence remains another crucial difference between New Zealand and South African teams, he stressed.

“It’s a skill that has been around New Zealand for a couple more years and they’re just slightly more experienced at the moment.”

The 28-year-old Treeby represented the Highlanders in 50 matches between 2011 and 2015.

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