Flyhalf Damian Willemse was one of the players consulted before negotiations with new Stormers recruit Warrick Gelant began.
On Wednesday, it was confirmed that Springbok fullback Warrick Gelant had signed with Western Province Rugby after opting against a contract extension at the Vodacom Bulls.
Following the announcement, Stormers coach John Dobson said the Stormers were looking forward to giving Willemse the ‘opportunity to settle at flyhalf going forward, with Warrick Gelant providing his trademark strike threat from the back’.
He further confirmed that transparent discussions were important in the signing process.
‘The first person before we even spoke seriously to Warrick was Damian and he was thrilled at the idea. When I told Siya [Kolisi] about it, he got on the phone to Warrick because he is a great professional and a good team man who looks after himself really well.
‘We run it by the players; there is no point bringing in players who aren’t going to fit in. Damian is very happy where he is, it is what is, good for the team and we are going to make him into a very good Vodacom Super Rugby flyhalf.
‘Damian is one of the best Vodacom Super Rugby 10s in South Africa and he is going to get even better with more time to prepare and train and focus on that position,’ he explained.
With Jean-Luc du Plessis heading to Japan and Willemse focusing on flyhalf, it also presents an opportunity to develop some of the promising young flyhalves that WP Rugby have in the system.
‘We are really pleased with the youngsters we have got at 10. There is Sacha Mngomezulu, who is two or three years away, Kade Wolhuter has come back from Montpellier, Christopher Schreuder and Mossie Mostert, who are all really good 10s.
‘We are not limited; Damian can play 12 and Warrick can play on the wing, but it gives us a year or two to get these really talented young 10s through, so I am pretty excited by how that fits together for us,’ Dobson added.
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