Springbok centre Jean de Villiers is fighting fit and ready to don the Stormers rugby jersey again.
The master playmaker injured his arm in South Africa’s opening game against Samoa in the World Cup tournament in October in France.
On Tuesday he was training flat-out again with his teammates in Parow.
“Yes, to have missed so many games in the RWC tournament was disappointing, but at this stage my fitness is very good. I should be fighting fit again by the middle of January,” said an excited De Villiers.
“I’ve just spoken to our physio (René Lombard) and told her I just want to start enjoying my rugby again. The RWC tournament was a disappointment, but I’ve set myself a new goal now, and that is to prepare myself for the Stormers’ Super14 season.”
De Villiers is particularly excited about the new spirit that the new coach, Rassie Erasmus, has brought to the Stormers.
“Rassie is very different from other coaches in his approach. We all know technical analysis is Rassie’s forté, and that is definitely what he’s good at, but it’s his management style that impresses me. He doesn’t hesitate to ask people for help so that they can also give their input,” De Villiers explained.
BALL WILL BE IN PLAY MORE
De Villiers also believes the new rules that will be applied in next year’s Super14 series will suit the Stormers’ style of play.
“The ball will be in play more and the backs will get more space to attack, which will suit us, but we’ll have to see first how things pan out,” he said about the new rules.
The two former Springboks and ex-pupils of Rondebosch High School, Gcobani Bobo (centre) and Hanyani Shimange (hooker), said they were happy to be back in the Stormers squad.
“I feel like a fish in water and hope the change will be good for me,” said Bobo (a former Sharks player).
Shimange said he has a very good relationship with Erasmus and is especially looking forward to working with him.
“I played with Rassie for the Cheetahs. He also coached me there and I know he’s a very competitive and ambitious person.”
The Stormers leave for George on Sunday for a pre-season training camp.