Simelane loving DHL Stormers environment

PUBLISHED: March 21, 2024

Being part of the DHL Stormers camp, after completing a mid-season move to Cape Town in January, has far exceeded Wandisile Simelane’s expectations.

The 25-year-old has settled in well since joining the DHL Stormers squad and is delighted to be sharing a dressing room with many familiar faces, including former Jeppe High schoolmate Hacjivah Dayimani.

“I’ve received a warm welcome from all the guys. I knew a lot of them before I got here, like Hacjivah. We went to school together. He hasn’t changed a single bit,” Simelane said.

“I’ve played with some of the guys and against most of the guys. I can say 50 to 60 percent of the team I’ve either played with or against, so it’s pretty familiar faces. The welcome I got was pretty special. You can see how special the bond is between the guys.”

An outside centre who is also comfortable among the outside backs, Simelane has been hard at work with assistant coaches Dawie Snyman (attack) and Norman Laker (defence) to fine tune his game for the DHL Stormers’ structures.

“It’s been awesome,” Simelane said. “Norman has helped me with the defensive work and work ethic. I worked quite a lot with Dawie at junior levels, not as a coach but more as a consultant. The coaches have been amazing.”

Having started his career at the Emirates Lions, Simelane has watched as DHL Stormers have progressed to make successive Vodacom URC finals.
Now that he is able to experience the inner workings at the HPC in Bellville, he feels that he is in an environment where he can realise his full potential.

“It’s even better from the inside. When you look at it from the outside, you always knew the DHL Stormers were coached well and had a good environment. Being on the inside now, it’s even better,” Simelane said.

“Everyone knows that the DHL Stormers play an attractive brand of rugby. When I looked at them from the outside, it was a feeling of ‘I can excel in an environment like that’. For me to be here now, it’s just exciting and I am happy to be here now.”