Flyhalf Kade Wolhuter is being backed to take charge and show what he can do for DHL Western Province in the Currie Cup.
The talented playmaker has made a handful of appearances for the DHL Stormers this season, biding his time for the chance to again don the No 10 jersey, as the coaches see the value in taking the long-term view with Wolhuter, who two years ago was tipped as a bright homegrown prospect.
He was 19 when he made his debut for the Cape side in Super Rugby Unlocked and impressed, only for a serious knee injury to interrupt his progress and rule him out of rugby for the better part of a year.
The 21-year-old is now relishing the chance of getting some consistent game time under his belt and showing what he is capable of in the 2023 Currie Cup, starting in the clash between WP and the Lions at Ellis Park on Saturday.
“I feel I always thrive and play best when I feel backed and I feel a real sense of backing and responsibility being placed on me going into the Currie Cup season which I really enjoy, and I’m also embracing it as I love rising to the challenge and repaying those that have confidence in me,” he said.
“I’m seriously excited for the competition. It’s an opportunity for game time for me which I’ve lacked since coming back from my knee injury, so for me I feel I can hopefully build on games back to back and really make my mark in this competition and do so by being the general in the hoops.”
The Stormers and WP squads are well-stocked at flyhalf, yet Wolhuter believes the healthy competition benefits his growth.
“I think that the competition is good, for all of us that is. It doesn’t allow us to slack and personally I know I have to be playing my best rugby to even be considered for selection.”
Wolhuter is more than capable of facilitating the attacking brand of rugby that the Cape teams thrive on, yet it is his dependability with the boot, both off the tee and out of hand, which he values as his biggest weapon.
“What excites me most is kicking battles, being able to manipulate other teams’ defence to find space in behind them and exploit their defensive systems,” he said.
“I feel my kicking game is a strength of mine, out of hand but especially for poles, I’ve always loved the individual element of kicking for poles.”
With the Stormers the reigning Vodacom United Rugby Championship winners, Wolhuter and his teammates are embracing an internal expectation for WP to make a title-run in the Currie Cup.
“Dobbo and the rest of the coaching staff have made it clear that we aren’t just taking part in the Currie Cup, we are expecting to win it,” he said.
“It’s been a while since we last won one, way too long for DHL WP, so we are putting a lot of expectation on ourselves to compete and hopefully win the Currie Cup this year.”
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