Springbok prospect Salmaan Moerat has had a woeful time with injuries, but he now looks to an historic achievement with the Stormers.
The Capetonians host Edinburgh at Cape Town Stadium in the inaugural Vodacom United Rugby Championship quarter-finals on Saturday.
Moerat was involved in the second-placed Stormers’ past three URC matches – two off the bench and one starting – and has made an impact in each of those outings.
Which is incredible from the 24-year-old lock, who suffered a career-threatening neck injury in April 2021, before another setback in January after he was then sidelined with an injured knee.
“I can tell you that it’s a lot easier playing a game than watching it from the side [but] I’m a firm believer that everything happens for a reason,” said Moerat, who is tipped to be picked in the Bok squad to face Wales in July.
“Sometimes, you don’t have those answers immediately, but then somewhere along the line you get to them.
“I think injuries give you a certain perspective of the game, and you’re a lot more grateful for where you are. They teach you lessons to look after your body and take ownership of that, and it’s made me a lot hungrier.
“On a personal note, it got me to, not so much to prove a point, but to re-establish myself again and set myself a goal and stay on the field.”
He added: “It’s really a privilege to be back in the team set-up and even more so now that we’re in the playoffs.
“I’ve seen the potential the team has and what we have achieved, so I really want to just get back and contribute my bit.”
Assistant coach Dawie Snyman added: “The last eight games that we’ve played have almost all been like knockout games, and the speech from Dobbo [coach John Dobson] has always been the same, that this is the most important game.
“For this one, if you lose, then you’re out, but I don’t think we’ll change much. We’re comfortable in the way we want to play … the approach and mindset will be the same.”