Skipper Steven Kitshoff was delighted for Deon Fourie after his veteran Stormers teammate was confirmed as one of eight players who could make their Springbok debut in the upcoming Test season, reports DYLAN JACK.
Shortly after the Stormers secured a home Vodacom United Rugby Championship final against the Vodacom Bulls with a last-gasp victory over Ulster on Saturday, the 48-man Springbok squad was announced for the July series against Wales, the Rugby Championship, and the November tour to Europe.
Among the eight uncapped players in the squad are No 8 Evan Roos and Fourie, who has been listed as a utility forward, presumably for his ability to cover openside flank and hooker.
Should he win his first cap this year, the 35-year-old Fourie will become the oldest player to make his Bok debut, overtaking Deon Lotter, who played his first Test at the age of 35 years, eight months and 22 days old.
“Deon was actually busy getting stitches when Dobbo [coach John Dobson] mentioned it in our team meeting after the game. I am extremely proud,” Kitshoff said. “I think he deserves the opportunity to be in the squad and be involved in that setup. He is such a hard worker, such a professional, and such a good team man.
“A lot of credit to him, he has had an exceptional season. His experience, talent, hard work and sacrifice means a lot to the Stormers and hopefully it will for the country [too].”
One chip and chase coming off? Pretty good
Two? I don’t believe you.
— EK Rugby Analysis (@ek_rugby) June 11, 2022
Kitshoff revealed that Fourie developed the lineout move which saw an exchange of short passes between Herschel Jantjies and Roos for the latter to score the Stormers’ second try against Ulster on Saturday.
“That was Deon Fourie’s brainchild,” Kitshoff said. “We saw an opportunity with how Ulster defended the front of the lineout. They commit their front prop quite quickly and then there is a two-on-one with the scrumhalf. We trained it three or four times in the week and then just executed it brilliantly. ”
Influential fullback Warrick Gelant, who scored the decisive try in the 86th minute of the semi-final, also received a recall to the Boks, having earned the last of his nine Test caps at the 2019 World Cup against Canada.
“It’s important for us to produce Springboks and be seen as a pathway [to the Boks] given where we were as a union a while ago,” Dobson said. “I know Warrick is not new, but he was out of the frame. It’s brilliant. I am thrilled for Warrick and I am sure he is absolutely delighted. I am thrilled for all of them.”