Get the Sport24 daily newsletter delivered to your Inbox!


    5 Stormers who grew in 2016

    2016-07-29 18:00

    Cape Town - 2016 ended in disappointing fashion for the Stormers - that 60-21 thrashing at the hands of the Chiefs set to haunt Newlands for a while. 

    The regular season had seen the Capetonians top Africa Conference 1 and finish a single point behind the Lions in the South African Group, yet the lack of competition against the New Zealand sides came back to haunt coach Robbie Fleck and his men. 

    It is not yet known whether Fleck will be in charge of the Stormers next season, but one favour he has done for the Stormers is show a faith in young talent. 

    There were a number of young Stormers who experienced breakthrough seasons in 2016, and that will almost certainly benefit Fleck or whoever the new man in charge is next season. 

    Here are some youngsters who grew at the Stormers in 2016:

    Jean-Luc du Plessis

    Age - 22

    Du Plessis started the season as the third-choice flyhalf but was thrown into the deep end after serious injuries to Robert du Preez and Kurt Coleman. It didn't take the left-booted playmaker long to show that he has the potential to be the complete package. He has a good kicking game, is solid defensively and he appears to have the instinct needed to control things from the pivot with his distribution and positioning. Injury in the final game of regular season ruled him out of the quarter-final, and his absence was felt in the loss to the Chiefs.


    Leolin Zas

    Age - 20

    Zas started the season like a house on fire and perhaps slowed down towards the end, but the fact that he was an ever-present for the Stormers throughout their campaign and at such a young age bodes well for the future. He is lightning fast and has shown that he can be a lethal finisher, but like many others his defence and positioning on defence needs a lot of work. Still, a haul of 8 tries from 15 games is impressive.


    JD Schickerling 

    Age - 21

    Schickerling's story is a remarkable one. Having come scarily close to being paralysed following that horrific neck injury, the second-rower completed his comeback in 2016. Lock is a tough position to crack at the Stormers with Eben Etzebeth and Pieter-Steph du Toit in the mix, but Schickerling still notched up 13 caps this season, though most of them came from the bench. His lineout work remains a strength and he will be looking to build on this season in 2017.

    Sikhumbuzo Notshe

    Age - 23

    A bit older than the others, but it was certainly a breakthrough season for Notshe. Fleck said at the start of the season that he wanted Notshe to be a specialist No 6, and his form in that position earned him a Springbok call-up against Ireland. He didn't get onto the park for a Test debut, but the boost he received from the recognition could be seen in his play. Notshe was one of maybe a couple of Stormers players who emerged from that disastrous loss to the Chiefs with any credibility.

    Robbie Fleck

    Age - 41

    Obviously Fleck is not a player, but Fleck was thrown into the deep end as much as anyone else this season when he was the late replacement for the outgoing Eddie Jones. While things may not have worked out for the Stormers in the end, it would be a raw deal for Fleck if he was not given another year to build on what was started in 2016.


    What To Read Next

    Read News24’s Comments Policy

    Live Video Streaming
    Video Highlights
    Sport Talk


    23 February 2017
    • Rebels v Blues, AAMI Park 10:45
    24 February 2017
    • Highlanders v Chiefs, 08:35
    • Reds v Sharks, Suncorp Stadium 11:00
    25 February 2017
    • Sunwolves v Hurricanes, Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium 06:15
    • Crusaders v Brumbies, AMI Stadium 08:35
    • Waratahs v Force, Allianz Stadium 10:45
    • Cheetahs v Lions, Toyota Stadium 15:05
    • Kings v Jaguares, Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium 17:15
    • Stormers v Bulls, Cape Town 19:30


    06 August 2016
    30 July 2016
    23 July 2016
    22 July 2016
    16 July 2016
    15 July 2016
    09 July 2016
    08 July 2016
    02 July 2016
    01 July 2016
    29 May 2016
    28 May 2016
    27 May 2016
    21 May 2016
    20 May 2016
    14 May 2016
    13 May 2016
    07 May 2016
    06 May 2016
    30 April 2016
    29 April 2016
    24 April 2016
    23 April 2016
    22 April 2016
    16 April 2016
    15 April 2016
    09 April 2016
    08 April 2016
    03 April 2016
    02 April 2016
    01 April 2016
    27 March 2016
    26 March 2016
    25 March 2016
    19 March 2016
    18 March 2016
    12 March 2016
    11 March 2016
    05 March 2016
    04 March 2016
    27 February 2016
    26 February 2016

    Opinion Poll

    Jake White will leave his job as Montpellier coach next year. Where would you like to see the former Springbok coach, coach next?

    The ultimate Super Rugby quiz!

    There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.