April 19, 2024

Moerat ready to lead from the front

The DHL Stormers will be looking  to take a major step towards reviving their United Rugby Championhips (URC) playoffs prospects when they face Edinburgh at the DHL Stadium in Cape Town on Saturday.

Springbok lock Salmaan Moerat, who will captain the Stormers after his return from a lengthy injury must make sure his side makes home advantage count in the next two URC games against Edinburgh and Ulster.

Wandisile Simelane, who will be wearing the number 13-jersey, will be starting in his first URC game on home turf since his move to the Mother City. He is  aware of the the huge challenge that lies ahead.

“We know how important this game is for us, we want to have a very good home stretch,” said Simelane.

The 25-year-old with be partnering experienced Dan du Plessis in a new midfield combination for the Stormers against the visitors from Scotland.  Simelane has settled in well since joining the Stormers, and has scored several tries in recent friendlies, including against the Northampton Saints at Franklin’s Gardens

The fleet-footed center has worked hard in training  with assistant coaches Dawie Snyman and Norman Laker to familiarise himself  with the Stormers attack and defensive systems. He feels that he is ready to make a positive contribution.

“I’m very excited (to start on Saturday), every time I got to play in Cape Town against the Stormers it was a massive occasion,” he said in an interview on Friday.

WATCH: Stormers pumped for Cape clash

“Norman, Dawie and Coach Dobbo have been hard on me to get my pace up to standard and my structures in place, and I feel very confident that I understand the system now. It’s up to me to go out there and just play and enjoy my rugby.

“Dan is a senior player in the team, which helps us; there’s a lot of guys in the team who are very exciting, including myself, who possibly maybe get ahead of ourselves but he is very calm and level headed and that helps me, to say the least.

“Everyone knows how exciting the Stormers want to play, and for me the sooner I find my feet the sooner I’ll be most influential in this attack, and the better it will be for the team.

“So (I tell myself) ‘calm down, work hard’ and figure out where I fit into this lovely puzzle and I believe we’ll have a good season.”


Stormers: 15 Damian Willemse, 14 Suleiman Hartzenberg, 13 Wandisile Simelane, 12 Dan du Plessis, 11 Leolin Zas, 10 Manie Libbok, 9 Paul de Wet, 8 Evan Roos, 7 Ben-Jason Dixon, 6 Nama Xaba, 5 Ruben van Heerden, 4 Salmaan Moerat (captain), 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Andre-Hugo Venter, 1 Brok Harris.
Replacements: 16 Joseph Dweba, 17 Lizo Gqoboka, 18 Neethling Fouche, 19 Connor Evans, 20 Hacjivah Dayimani, 21 Herschel Jantjies, 22 Jurie Matthee, 23 Ben Loader.

Edinburgh: 15 Emiliano Boffelli, 14 Wes Goosen, 13 Mark Bennett, 12 Matt Currie, 11 Jake Henry, 10 Ben Healy, 9 Ben Vellacott (captain), 8 Viliame Mata, 7 Hamish Watson, 6 Ben Muncaster, 5 Sam Skinner, 4 Jamie Hodgson, 3 WP Nel, 2 Dave Cherry, 1 Boan Venter.
Replacements: 16 Patrick Harrison, 17 Luan de Bruin, 18 Javan Sebastian, 19 Marshall Sykes, 20 Tom Dodd, 21 Charlie Shiel, 22 Cammy Scott, 23 Chris Dean.

Referee: Adam Jones (Wales)
Assistant referees: AJ Jacobs (South Africa), Hanru van Rooyen (South Africa)
TMO: Sean Brickell (Wales)

PiCS: @DHLStormers


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