A true Newlands hero will run out in the Investec Stormers colours for the last time at the famous stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Breyton Paulse will be hoping to greet his supporters with a bang when the Stormers tackle the Cats in their last home game in this year’s Super 12 competition.
The nippy back recently signed a deal with Clermont in France and he will be finishing his rugby career there. He, however, hopes to make another appearance at Newlands soon – when the Springboks take on New Zealand on August 6.
Paulse, who made his Stormers debut in 1998 against the Hurricanes, said: “I will play for the Springboks as long as possible.
“I haven’t yet had a chat with Jake (White, Springbok coach) and don’t know what the situation is, but it would be nice to be back at Newlands,” Paulse said at a press conference on Wednesday.
The man from the Koue Bokkeveld who made it big in Cape Town has played 64 games for his beloved Stormers, scoring 32 tries. He is not only the Stormers leading try-scorer of all times, but also the leading South African try-scorer in the Super 12.
Against the Cats on Saturday Paulse would love to improve on his try-scoring record, but cautioned against too heavy expectations.
“It’s a difficult one,” he said. “The last thing you should bring into it is emotion. I need to play this game as if it is any other one. Then things will happen.”
Stormers coach Gert Smal holds the pocket rocket in high regard. “I hope he gets the support and as a result on Saturday when we play the last game of our campaign at Newlands.”
The coach lauded Paulse for his contribution to the Stormers cause over the past few seasons. “Breyton has been a top professional in everything he has done. Nothing was too big or too much for him.
“In terms of marketing he was always available. He was always friendly and always had his feet on the ground. “I can’t say enough of Breytie … for his size … he has extraordinary skill levels and has been a magnificent team man.”
The player himself does not want to make too big a fuss about the occasion. He is more worried about the team’s performance and expects a heavy onslaught from the Cats.
“The challenge of a South African derby speaks for itself. They will be coming full steam and will also be keen to restoring honour. It is going to be a physical challenge.”
Hopefully Stormers supporters will rock up at Newlands in their thousands to bid farewell to a player who really deserves a hero’s farewell.