Gelant relishing challenge to adapt on tour

PUBLISHED: May 6, 2024

Fullback Warrick Gelant believes that the DHL Stormers are set up to handle whatever is thrown at them on their upcoming two-match tour.

The DHL Stormers leave on Tuesday for two crucial matches on the road as the hunt for Vodacom URC playoff berths continues after a week’s break.

The tour begins with a clash with Dragons at Rodney Parade in Newport under the Friday night lights and finishes with a match against Connacht in Galway the following Saturday.

Armed with the experience of having played abroad, Gelant knows how vital it will be for the DHL Stormers to adapt to the local conditions when the team arrives in Wales.

“These two matches will be important for us,” Gelant said. “It’s a must-win for us, no matter the conditions. We have to adapt to whatever happens.

“Going forward in the knockouts, we might find ourselves in a similar situation. So it’s important for us to find ourselves as a team and see how we can adapt to different conditions.”

Gelant is going on tour full of confidence, having helped the DHL Stormers put five tries past eight-time Vodacom URC champions Leinster in Cape Town.

“It was a special feeling,” he said. “After we lost against Ospreys, we knew the situation that we put ourselves in. It’s a must-win situation now, going forward.

“Preparing for a team like Leinster puts you in that mindset of there won’t be any easy points. We knew the importance of what we had to do to secure the maximum points against Leinster.”

Gelant’s try in the final play was one of the major highlights of the match, as he threw a spectacular dummy and backed himself to score in the corner.

“I got the ball on the outside and I was running laterally towards the touchline,” he said. “As I was running, I threw the dummy to Ben, just to commit those two defenders that were chasing me to the touchline. I gained some momentum, saw some space and went for the corner.”

In the final stretch of his second Vodacom URC season with the DHL Stormers, Gelant is enjoying another influential campaign in Cape Town.

The 28-year-old helped the DHL Stormers win the Vodacom URC in his first season with the team in 2022 and has made a big impact since returning from a short stint in France.

“The culture and environment part of it is something I really enjoy and find most rewarding,” Gelant explained. “We are a team and squad that can adapt on the fly. We aren’t stuck in our ways, there’s nothing set in stone as to what we are trying to do.

“The strength of the environment is the fluidity that we have. We are constantly problem-solving and can adjust. That’s what makes this team so good.

“It’s also off the field, how we mix the cultures, we have a big pool of where players can give an input. We are constantly learning in this environment. We do that together on and off the field.

“I like that we can switch off and just enjoy each other’s company. The same group can then go on the field and work as hard as they can.”