John Dobson has confirmed that Wandisile Simelane is ready to make his debut as the DHL Stormers received a timely boost for the clash with the Sharks. DYLAN JACK reports.
Since completing a mid-season move to the DHL Stormers in early January, Simelane has been integrating and familiarising himself with the team’s structures and systems.
The Stormers have been on a three-week mid-season break, during which they played friendlies against UCT and Maties, allowing Simelane to show his stuff, albeit against university opposition.
Simelane scored a hat-trick against Maties in Stellenbosch last Saturday and Stormers coach Dobson has been left impressed not only by the centre’s skills, but also his drive to become a better player.
“He’s been outstanding. We are so excited by him,” Dobson said.
“There is so much more to him than we realise. We knew about his sidestepping, but his workrate, the way he gets off the ground, his support lines, his second touches, his backstory, his personality and his desperation to become a Springbok. All of that.
“He is somebody we want to keep here for a while. We’ve been really thrilled with him. He will definitely be involved in the next couple of weeks.”
Dobson confirmed that Simelane is now up for selection and could make his DHL Stormers debut in Saturday’s coastal derby against the Sharks in Durban.
The Stormers will be without Damian Willemse, Manie Libbok and Deon Fourie due to Springbok resting protocol, but have welcomed back veteran tighthead Frans Malherbe, captain Salmaan Moerat and utility back Sacha Feinberg-Mngomezulu from injury.
“We are in a nice position with our injury roster,” Dobson said. “Frans is training properly. We’ll decide what our plans are with him still, but he is back. It’s very useful to have those guys back.
“It was too soon to play Wandisile [before the break], but he’s trained enough and played in the two friendlies so he’s now eligible for selection.
“So we’ve had a nice boost of resources during the resting time.”
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