Sti Sithole is thrilled to be back with the DHL Stormers, where his professional rugby journey started.
Sithole earned three DHL Stormers caps as a 21-year-old and returned to the franchise this season a more experienced player with more than 100 senior caps to his name.
The powerful loosehead could not be happier to be back in Cape Town and is determined to make his presence felt in a DHL Stormers jersey.
“I’m here to contribute in every way I can and to make an impact. It’s a challenging task, but I’m excited.
“Everybody can see there is something special being built here in Cape Town with this DHL Stormers team. There’s a real feeling of making this city proud,” he said.
In a tough outing against Munster in Limerick in Round Five of the Vodacom URC, the DHL Stormers scrum stood out as a department where there were signs of great improvement, and Sithole is positive of an even stronger performance at Cardiff on Friday.
“The DHL Stormers scrum culture is a very proud one and has a subtle difference to what I’ve experienced. I really enjoy that because you never stop learning when it comes to scrums so the potential is massive,” he said.
“It’s massively important that we bounce back this week. We understand the position we’re in so it’s imperative for us to get a positive result Friday night and to keep chasing our standards.”
Sithole’s DHL Stormers ‘debut’ in his second stint with the team has coincided with the absence of key players, yet he has settled in nicely as the Capetonians start to find some cohesion.
“I think finding my feet will happen naturally through more game time with my teammates and I know we will get the cohesion right because we fully trust what we’re trying to build with this squad,” he explained.
It is another challenge this week for the DHL Stormers at Cardiff Arms Park, adapting to the artificial pitch, but Sithole is taking it in his stride.
“I think it’s pretty obvious that there is a difference between grass and an artificial pitch. The pitch is taxing on some of the heavies, but rugby is rugby and we need to execute our plan on any surface,” he said.
Cardiff are on a three-match winless run but they’ve shared the spoils in two matches against the DHL Stormers and Sithole expects a tough encounter.
“We’re similar results-wise of late and I’m sure they’re also gunning for a good result on Friday because they are a good team. They have a big pack and a good kicking game so we need to enforce ourselves and our plan on them,” he added.