Get the Sport24 daily newsletter delivered to your Inbox!


    End of an era as Schalk moves on

    2016-07-25 10:21

    Lloyd Burnard - Sport24

    Cape Town - And, just like that, Schalk Burger's days at Newlands are over. 

    It was fitting that he captained the Stormers in what would be his final outing after a 14-year-career in the blue and white hoops, but Saturday's 60-21 thrashing at the hands of the Chiefs was a cruel way for a legend of the union to say 'goodbye'. 

    But rugby, and sport, cares not for sentiment and the Stormers were badly exposed as they were thumped out of the Super Rugby quarter-finals. 

    Burger crashed and bashed away through the 80 minutes in what has become familiar fashion, but the sides on the field looked like they were from different worlds. 

    The Stormers were beaten; the 2016 season over as their leader left the place he has called 'home' since 2002. 

    The 33-year-old is off to Saracens where he has signed for the next two years. 

    There are no concrete plans after that.

    "I'm going to be 35 going on 36 ... I know Victor made it to 38, but I'm not sure I've got that longevity in me," Burger joked after Saturday's loss.

    Burger has enjoyed success aplenty at the Stormers, but he leaves without having won a Super Rugby title as that honour continues to elude the franchise. 

    "Obviously I've got a lot of good memories at Newlands, and unfortunately tonight wasn't one of them," Burger said.

    "Of course it hurts but you've got to have perspective. I think this year this team came a long way. We started off on a journey with a young side and I think we did remarkably well to get into a quarter-final."

    Burger gave the current Stormers management, including coach Robbie Fleck, his stamp of approval on departure.

    "Unfortunately today it just didn't work and I think the challenge for this group is to stay true to their culture," Burger said.

    "This is a good experience for a lot of us and we've got to strive to become better and a better team. Yes, tonight is painful but I've really enjoyed my journey with the current crop of players."

    Burger pointed to the fact that the Stormers had not met any New Zealand sides in Super Rugby this season, saying that that had made Saturday's quarter-final all the more difficult. 

    "They've got a certain style at the moment, all the Kiwi sides, that's quite difficult to counter but I think next year will be positive for us that we're playing against them," he said.

    "Once you start experiencing the style and adapting to it you get used to it, and we can catch up."

    Of course, the Stormers will have to catch up without Burger. 

    He does not have his flight date yet, but he is set to leave for England within the next few weeks.

    "Obviously I'm quite keen. I've spent a lot of time at Newlands and it's been a phenomenal journey but it's the next chapter in my life and I'm looking forward to it," he said.

    "There's obviously a great family culture over there. They've had great results and I'm quite keen to go over there and learn."

    Burger has also declared himself currently unavailable for the Springboks. 

    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.