Talented Stormers flanker Cobus Wiese will be looking to unleash his inner ‘Juan Smith’ when he tackles the Waratahs this Saturday, writes CRAIG LEWIS.
The 20-year-old was a revelation for the Stormers and Western Province last year, making a considerable impression with both his physicality and athleticism.
After playing a starring role in Province’s successful Currie Cup campaign, he has now been entrusted with the No 7 jersey at the Stormers – slotting seamlessly into a loose trio that includes Springboks Nizaam Carr and Siya Kolisi.
Speaking from the Stormers’ base in Sydney this week, Wiese revealed that he had built his game and approach around the inspiration of Smith – who played 70 Tests for the Springboks and is widely regarded as one of the most influential players to don the green and gold.
‘I try to model my game on Juan Smith. In my opinion he was a true great. The way he played and threw his body around‚ I can relate to that.
‘He came from a smaller union and made it in the big time. His physicality in both defence and attack was incredible‚ which is why I try to model myself on him.’
The Stormers will certainly be looking to impose their physicality this Saturday as they get set to face a Waratahs team that will still be smarting from a miserable 2017 campaign that yielded just four victories.
Wiese will be looking to rise to the occasion, and said he was feeling increasingly comfortable with a role at blindside flank that fits his natural game.
‘It especially helps with the calibre of players I have around me‚ which gives me confidence to carry the ball, knowing they will back me up.
‘I’ve always been one for getting stuck in and that role at the Stormers is really enjoyable. I’m looking forward to seeing how we go on this path.’
The Stormers are set to name their team to face the Waratahs on Thursday.
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