Senatla: I'm ready to play
Cape Town - Sevens superstar Seabelo Senatla is ready to pull on a Stormers jersey and says that, physically, there is nothing stopping him from turning out against the Rebels at Newlands on Saturday.
The Blitzbokke arrived at Cape Town International airport on Tuesday after a disappointing end to their World Series season in London, but the attention was firmly on Senatla and his Super Rugby availability.
"Ja, physically I can play, there is nothing actually stopping me," this year's leading try scorer on the World Series circuit said.
On Monday the Stormers were investigating whether or not they would be shown any leniency from Sanzar with regards to the rule that uninjured players have to have been fielded at least four times by their franchise if they are to be allowed to play in the tournament playoffs. If that rule does indeed stand, then Senatla will have to play some part in Saturday's match and the other three remaining fixtures to be able to feature in the playoffs, should the Stormers qualify.
But it is not that simple, and as keen as Senatla is to play, questions over his fitness will be answered by the Stormers medical experts.
Senatla is due to undergo a medical on Wednesday, and he is recovering from a hematoma on his thigh muscle.
"I don't know how serious it is ... so I'll just have to see how that goes," said the 22-year-old.
"I've got the medical tomorrow (Wednesday) ... so for now I'll just carry on and try to rest as much as I can and then tomorrow we'll see what's happening with the thigh."
Stormers coach Allister Coetzee had spoken earlier in the week about the physical and mental state that Senatla would return in, but the speedster gave his coach an assurance that he was in the right frame of mind.
"I'm always ready as a player, the fact that I enjoy it so much, I will never back down from playing rugby ... taking it that I'm fit, that is," he said.
"The Sevens series has really toughened me up, how much of a physical impact you take on yourself, and playing the game has really helped me to become much stronger and more mentally stable.
"So it's not a question of, 'Am I ready mentally?', it's a question of 'Am I ready physically?"
Whether it happens this weekend or not, the prospect of getting into a Stormers jersey as quickly as possible is something that is exciting Senatla.
"I had so much fun last year playing for Western Province in the Currie Cup, it was awesome," he said.
"The team is doing well and they are awesome guys to be around. For me it is exciting to play fixtures and actually represent that union.
"The talks are that I need to play four games in order to play the semi-finals and the finals, so it is kind of a tricky situation coming back. There's only four games left so I can't even rest for a game or so. We'll see how we work around it."
Senatla would slot into the Stormers side at wing should he get the call-up.
Saturday's clash against the Rebels kicks off at 19:10 and the Stormers are set to announce their side on Thursday.