Senatla for Stormers’ run-in

2015-01-15 12:18
Seabelo Senatla (Gallo Images)

Cape Town – There are pros and cons from a Stormers point of view to wing speedster Seabelo Senatla’s participation in Super Rugby 2015.

On the negative side, the exciting 21-year-old misses the great majority of their ordinary-season programme due to SA Sevens commitments, but the rosier news for Newlands enthusiasts is that he ought to join the fray at a key stage of their run-in, with up to four regular fixtures and then possible involvement in the playoffs phase still ahead.

In response to inquiries this week, after Senatla’s name did not appear among the extended pre-season squad training in Hermanus, the Stormers issued an explanation on their Facebook page: “Seabelo is dual-contracted to WP Rugby and SA Sevens (a unique deal) so he plays for the DHL Stormers/WP when possible, around his SA Sevens commitments.

“In other words, this year he will rejoin us at the end of the last IRB Sevens tournament (mid-May) until October. His aim is still to play for the SA Sevens team until the Olympics.”

What this effectively means is that Senatla -- who got a brief, experience-building taste of the Springboks XVs culture on the end-of-year tour as a peripheral member of coach Heyneke Meyer’s troops – can be written off to the Stormers until the weekend of May 22/23 at the earliest.

The last leg of the HSBC Sevens World Series is in England on May 16 and 17.

In the following week, assuming he is ready to be incorporated immediately into the more extended format, the Stormers are at home to the Melbourne Rebels.

Then follow respective home games against the Cheetahs and Lions respectively, plus a potentially pivotal away derby against the Sharks (Saturday, June 13) preceding the finals series, for which Senatla would again be fully available.

For the time being, then, the electric presence in the Currie Cup-winning campaign of 2014 is an absentee, and the Stormers will seemingly pin their faith in back three resources like Cheslin Kolbe, Jaco Taute, Kobus van Wyk and Dillyn Leyds.

Versatile Springbok Damian de Allende can also do duty in a wing berth, although he is more likely to fill the inside centre hole for the Stormers left by the campaign-long absence of injured Bok captain Jean de Villiers.

 *Follow our chief writer on Twitter: @RobHouwing

Read more on:    stormers  |  seabelo senatla  |  rugby

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