Deon Fourie is someone who relishes a challenge and they don’t come much bigger than a Vodacom United Rugby Championship Grand Final against Munster.
Having missed the semifinal win against Connacht with a hamstring injury, the robust openside flanker is set to return with renewed hunger and tenacity to compete in the decider at the DHL Stadium on Saturday.
Fourie is a steel beam reinforcing the DHL Stormers breakdown, his relentless poaching and commitment to disrupting momentum make him an invaluable asset in the defending champions’ quest for victory.
The 36-year-old was part of the team that won the inaugural Vodacom URC, and capped off a spectacular campaign with a Vodacom Man of the Match performance against the Vodacom Bulls in Cape Town.
Acknowledging Munster’s formidable reputation, Fourie is excited to test himself against a quality side that has consistently delivered exceptional performances throughout 2022/23.
Having missed the DHL Stormers’ two previous defeats against Munster, this week’s duel will be a significant moment for the veteran loose forward as he seeks to leave his mark against formidable opponents.
“I missed out on Munster this year, and last year I missed a game when we played them over at Thomond Park after I broke my cheekbone,” he said. “So I haven’t played Munster in my career yet, and definitely looking forward to testing myself against a quality side like them.
“I think their record speaks for itself, especially this year, so it’ll be interesting.”
A key one-on-one battle to watch on Saturday is Fourie’s likely face-off against Munster captain and seasoned Ireland international, Peter O’Mahony.
“Peter O’Mahony is a fantastic player, he has been playing for Ireland for a long time, he is amazing,” Fourie said.
“I don’t really see him as an out-and-out fetcher; a guy like Jack Morgan from last year, he was quite good, I think he won the [Vodacom URC] award for the most turnovers last year.
“But, O’Mahony, he’s just a nuisance at every ruck and sometimes he’ll get that poach, but he’s always just there and in your face and disrupting rucks. So that’ll be a nice challenge, trying to contain him.”
Furthermore, towering lock RG Snyman presents a familiar foe for the DHL Stormers. A World Cup-winning Springbok, Snyman’s physicality and all-round skills pose a threat that Fourie is eager to neutralise.
“I’m not sure I’ve ever played against RG … he’s a massive human being and his offload and running game is outstanding.
“For us to stop that will be a challenge. What he brings to that Munster side is an element of unpredictability.”