DHL Stormers give youth a chance

PUBLISHED: February 2, 2017

This season there is another crop of incredibly talented young players pushing hard for a spot in the DHL Stormers Vodacom Super Rugby squad.

Of the 35 players that went to Zimbabwe for a warm-up game against the Toyota Cheetahs in the Old Mutual Super Rugby weekend, 10 were younger than 22.

All 10 of those players got a run in the seven-try 43-7 victory against the Currie Cup champions in Harare, including 19-year-olds Cobus Wiese and Juarno Augustus along with 18-year-old Damian Willemse who was in school last year.

DHL Stormers Head Coach Robbie Fleck said that it was really encouraging to see the young players step up in pre-season and create a healthy competitive environment amongst the squad.

“One of the most encouraging aspects of this trip to Zimbabwe has been the role that the younger players have had.

“We have backed a few of them with an eye on building for the future and the management staff have been impressed with their attitude which has helped create a great spirit in the squad,” he said.

With the likes of JD Schickerling, Jean-Luc du Plessis, Leolin Zas, Dan du Plessis and Brandon Thomson having made their Vodacom Super Rugby debut in 2016, the management have continued their commitment to backing talented young players.

No doubt there will a few more young players who will take their opportunity and mark themselves down as a household name of the future this season, which is something that excites Fleck.

“We made some great strides last year and a lot of young players got some valuable exposure, the challenge is to build on that this year and build more depth while taking our game to the next level,” he added.