Moerat eyes Province leadership, blindsider role

Western Province and Stormers lock Salmaan Moerat says he is open to the idea of playing at blindside flank and has aspirations of captaining the team in the future.

Moerat was speaking during an interview with Shafiek Mouton on radio station KC 107.7‘s show ‘Op die Hoofpawiljoen’ on Monday evening.

The lock has long been touted as a future provincial captain, having led his high school’s 1st XV as well as Western Province’s U18 team and the SA Schools and Junior Springboks sides.

During the interview, Moerat was asked whether it was part of his goals to lead his provincial team and potentially captain the Springboks in the future.

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‘I definitely have aspirations of captaining the Stormers,’ Moerat said. ‘Hopefully, in the near future, I can be incorporated into that role.

‘For now, there is still a very good leadership group in the team. As far as I know, many of the players will be staying on. So, if the opportunity comes, I will be enjoying that and, hopefully, I can be ready for that. ‘

In a previous edition of the talk show, former Springbok fullback Gio Aplon opined that Moerat would be suited to a shift to the back row, given his aggressiveness in the carry and his mobility.

This would echo a similar path followed by Moerat’s Stormers teammate, Pieter-Steph du Toit, who started his senior career as a lock, but has had huge success since transition to blindside flank.

‘If a seasoned campaigner like Gio Aplon has a thought like that, then it must carry some weight,’ Moerat said. ‘It is definitely something that I have been thinking about. Like he says, it will make me a more versatile player. I enjoy running with the ball, especially if I get that space on the outside.

‘Who knows, hopefully I can get an opportunity there sometime in my career. It is up to the coaches. I will have to look at it with them and think about it. It is an aspiration of mine to play there and broaden my game.’

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Moerat was also asked about his future at Western Province, with a number of players – including captain Siya Kolisi – being heavily linked with moves away from the franchise.

However, the 22-year-old was unequivocal about his commitment to staying with his boyhood team.

‘At the moment, I still have two years left on my contract. So, I will still be at Western Province,’ Moerat said. ‘This is home to me and this is where my family has played rugby. This is where the majority of my support base is.

‘I would love to stay here for as long as possible. A lot has been said in the media, a lot of it hasn’t been the entire truth. I am really excited for what lies ahead for this union and hopefully I can do well in the next two seasons and earn an extension.’

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Photo: BackpagePix

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Dylan Jack