Senatla ready to jet for DHL Stormers

PUBLISHED: February 1, 2023

Fit-again flyer Seabelo Senatla is eager to burst out of the starting blocks in his first DHL Stormers appearance since September.

Senatla is back online and itching to get back into action after spending the past four months on the sidelines due to a pectoral muscle injury.

“I am definitely keen to get going again,” said Senatla. “The four-month layoff came at an awkward time as I was feeling really good. The thought of having to start again was discouraging, but we eventually got into it and I’m fully fit now.

“The timing of the injury allowed a lot of family time during the December period which was one of the positives from this setback. I’m happy to make my comeback, I really missed the game, as well as the team.”

Senatla’s return comes at a key stage for the DHL Stormers, heading into local derbies in the Vodacom United Rugby Championship.

The defending champions are without last season’s top scorer Leolin Zas due to injury, while Damian Willemse is on Springbok-mandated rest.

A former Blitzboks star, Senatla formed a key part of the back three that combined for 25 tries last season and hopes his experience can help the DHL Stormers against their local rivals.

“We have a couple of injuries in the back three at the moment so my return gives a couple of options to the coaches,” he explained.

“We have a couple of regular season games to try and string back the form we had from last year. It’s been a bit disruptive with guys being injured, making it difficult to build consistency. With that, it’s a bit easier to string together a couple of good performances as guys get cohesive and fluid. That type of gelling allows players to express themselves because you’re performing from a place of instinct and nothing is forced.

“Special things can happen when you get into that space.”

Watching from the sidelines has given Senatla a unique view on the season so far and he is confident the DHL Stormers will bounce back from the defeat to Ulster when they travel to Durban to take on the Cell C Sharks on Saturday.

“I think we’re doing very well. Everyone will look at last week and judge us by that, but that’s not how we’ll look at ourselves,” said Senatla. “Yes, the result looked bad, but there were a lot of disruptions prior and in the game itself. We’ll learn from it and move on. This week is a good place to start with an SA derby looming.

“I guess when you’re playing against your mates you’ll always go a little harder,” he added. “You don’t want to be giving away bragging rights.”