Vodacom Stormers get “hometown” welcome at training session

PUBLISHED: March 28, 2006

The Vodacom Stormers were given a taste of the kind “local” hospitality that they may expect at Subiaco Oval on Friday when they trained at a local school earlier this week. The Stormers face the Western Force in the opening match of their Vodacom Super 14 tour.

Wesley College, a private boy’s school in South Perth, is hosting the Stormers’ training and gym sessions this week. On Monday, however, the afternoon training session took place on a field adjacent to the clubhouse of the local baseball team, “Souths”, whose members were enjoying the last hours of their traditional 24-hour end of season “boozathon”!

As the Stormers went through a tough 2 hour session, the jibes flew thick and fast as the baseballers, most of them obviously well on their way and clearly unfamiliar with Rugby Union watched with bemusement and an unstable gait.

“What’s the latest cricket score, mate!”, chirped one in reference to the state of play in the test between the Proteas and the Aussies.

Undaunted by the chirping, the Stormers completed the session and clearly impressed the onlookers with the intensity and dedication of the session, and the size of some of their squad members.

“Jeez, mate. How big is that guy!!!,” said one as Andries Bekker walked by.

It was all in good “spirit” though and Stormers scrumhalf Bolla Conradie was made an honorary “member” of Souths. His picture will soon grace the walls of the clubhouse and a signed baseball will serve as reminders of the Stormers visit in years to come.

“We weren’t bothered too much about it,” said Manager Chippie Solomon. “It might actually serve as a bit of a dress rehearsal for Friday’s Game”.