Springbok fullback Warrick Gelant says he is feeling refreshed mentally and physically as he arrives at the Stormers, writes CRAIG LEWIS.
After seven years with the Vodacom Bulls, Gelant has moved south to join rivals the Stormers, and recently began non-contact training with his new team.
In a wide-ranging interview in the latest SA Rugby magazine, Gelant shares how he looked to make the most of lockdown, using the unexpected downtime to undergo a period of introspection and begin to explore other interests, all the while staying committed to training as intensively as possible.
Gelant has now completed a decisive career change, and one that he says was the realisation of a long-standing dream.
‘As a young boy I was always a Stormers supporter. The opportunity [at senior level] first came from the Bulls when I was a youngster, and I took it and I’m really grateful for the seven years there. I think that time really helped mould me as a player. There was a time in the past when there was a consideration to move to the Stormers, but it didn’t feel right at that time.
‘In 2018, for example, John Mitchell had joined the Bulls as a coach and I looked at it in the way of where I thought I would grow the most as a player.
‘I felt John would bring something different from overseas, and he had coached someone like [legendary former All Blacks fullback] Mils Muliaina. So, I stayed on back then. But I feel like the timing is now right for me to move on. I think with the coaches and players at the Stormers it will help me grow as a player and person. It’s time for the next step, and the moment is now.’
Gelant is clear in his vision. He wants to become the ‘complete fullback’, and believes a fresh start of sorts at the Stormers is the best move, at the perfect time.
‘If I can come here, and get some fresh eyes on my game, I think that will be a big help for me to become a complete fullback … I’ve loved my time with the Springboks and to be part of the Word Cup last year was really special,’ he adds.
‘The national goal has always been there for me. But, to be honest, I feel like my performances at the Bulls this year were a bit up and down, and I haven’t had the consistency I would like.
‘So, I actually feel that maybe the focus on being the Bok fullback needs to come second for me right now. I need to first be consistent for my local side, before I can be consistent for the Springboks.
‘Now coming to the Stormers, I’m feeling refreshed mentally and physically, and my 100% focus will be on performing for them and to see what I can bring to the team. Then I can look to the next big thing.’
*The full article with Gelant is featured in the August issue of SA Rugby magazine, now on sale