Stormers Damian Willemse

Damian Willemse. Photo: © Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix

Willemse to 12 for Stormers? ‘Logical’ move won’t happen just yet

Stormers coach John Dobson has offered his thoughts on the possibility of shifting Damian Willemse to inside centre.

Stormers Damian Willemse

Damian Willemse. Photo: © Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix

Willemse started at fullback as the Stormers claimed a memorable win over the Bulls this past weekend, while Warrick Gelant came off the bench to add a real spark to proceedings.

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Both Springbok players look well suited to fullback, but Willemse was interestingly deployed as an inside centre option by the national team last year.

It’s led to some calls for the youngster to be played at 12 by the Stormers, allowing Gelant to start at fullback in the same starting backline.

However, Dobson has revealed that the current team plan doesn’t involve playing the talented duo in the same line-up in the next couple of weeks.

“We’ve got a plan that we’re playing towards in these derbies and we’ll stick to it,” Dobson said.

“To chop and change based on this result wouldn’t be fair on other players, but in the longer term if Warrick stays with us, we can have Warrick starting and Damian on the bench.

“The logical move is for Damian to move to 12, but that’s not going to happen in the next couple of weeks.”

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The Stormers coach also praised the performance of flyhalf Manie Libbok, who was named Man of the Match

“We weren’t coming back from that game if it wasn’t for Warrick’s magic and Manie also played well,” Dobson said.

“The important thing is to give Manie as much confidence in playing at 10 because he’s played in the position for several teams.

“He’ll get a run there and after a pressure game like this, he’ll get better for the experience.”

The Stormers will next face the Sharks at Kings Park in the United Rugby Championship on Saturday.

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