Plenty of new faces have put their hands up for the DHL Stormers this season and the DHL Newlands Faithful are in for a treat tomorrow when their newest signing, SA Sevens speedster Seabelo Senatla, takes to the field against the Bulls.
Although the weather conditions are not looking too flash for tonight and tomorrow morning in Cape Town, Senatla’s pace and power could light up the field should he get game time from the bench in this keenly-anticipated all-SA Derby (kick-off 17h05). (See the DHL Stormers team HERE!)
“I have been training very well with the DHL Stormers and everyone has welcomed me. I have been running the plays and doing whatever I can to be able to be in this position, and now I am getting a chance and I am so excited to be playing this weekend,” he told www.iamastormer.com this week.
“I initially signed for the Absa Currie Cup only, but after my last game with the SA Sevens I was called me to come and train with the team,” explained Senatla, his unique twin deal with SA Rugby making him available for both Western Province Rugby and the BlitzBokke over the next two years.
Whilst Senatla caught the eye in the seven-man version of the game, the 21-year-old winger has also excelled at Varsity Shield and junior level – having represented the SA Under-20s with aplomb in the 2013 IRB Junior World Championships in France.
Looking at the difference between Sevens and Fifteens, Senatla said: “It is a different type of ball-game, but it’s still a rugby ball, so I am very excited to be here and playing in the highest form of 15-man rugby at provincial or franchise level, if I may say so.
“You have got less space, you have got less time and the collisions as well – you need to be stronger and stand firm,” he added. “There are more collisions than Sevens, but I will be looking to mix it up and play my normal game.”
Should Senatla get game time against the Bulls this weekend, he could take to the field alongside his former SA Sevens and SA U20 teammate, Cheslin Kolbe, as well as veteran Gio Aplon, who also cut his teeth at Sevens level.
“It’s awesome playing with players of that calibre, I have played with Cheslin at Sevens and Under-20 level – he is a very good player,” enthused Senatla.
“Gio Aplon is also a very mobile man, I like playing with guys that are more mobile and have a certain type of mindset – they come from a Sevens background and have a certain skill-set so I think we will understand each other out there.”
DHL Stormers coach Allister Coetzee has no doubt that Senatla’s pace and skills will boost his team. “Seabelo has shown at national Sevens that he is a very exciting young player,” said Coetzee.
“I think his greatest attribute is definitely his pace, the man is really quick,” added the Stormers boss.
“We had a twin deal with SA Rugby last year when we signed Seabelo and I thought the Absa Currie Cup would be his opportunity to showcase his skill-set but the opportunity is earlier than what we thought and we’re all excited to see him play.”