Van Wyk: Awesome vibe in Stormers camp
Cape Town - Stormers wing Kobus van Wyk
says the team’s family environment and effective pres-season has allowed a
young squad to secure an impressive start to 2015.
The Stormers boast a squad with a good
blend of experience and youth.
While the senior players have played their
role in guiding the team in the right direction, the young players’ ability to
make an impact at Super Rugby level has added a valuable contribution to the
Cape side’s unbeaten start to the tournament.
The Stormers have gone on to beat the
Bulls, Blues and Lions after the opening three rounds to lead the South African
conference standings and claim second position on the overall log. Van Wyk
credited the Stormers’ development structures for this.
“Yes, there are many young players in the
Stormers squad, but the fact that we have played together in the system for a
long time has allowed us to adapt at senior level,” Van Wyk told
“Many of the younger guys have played
alongside in the Western Province Under-21 and Under-19 teams before, so we
know each other very well. We also have great experienced players in leadership
positions, and they play a key role by giving us advice and leading from the
“The coaches also show a lot of faith in
us, which gives us confidence. This all contributes to an awesome family
environment in the team. There’s a great vibe among the players, which makes
things easier everyone.”
Van Wyk added that the Stormers enjoyed a
great pre-season ahead of Super Rugby.
“There’s plenty of confidence in the team
as we’ve won three out of three games. But we worked hard for the results,
especially during the pre-season to ensure we were in great condition,” said
Van Wyk. “We spent a lot of time in the Altitude Chamber, which allowed us to
train 3 000m above sea level. This prepared us for those tough South African
derbies in the Highveld.
“It clearly made a difference as we lost
34-10 against the Lions at Ellis Park in our first game last season, which
happened to be my Super Rugby debut. This year, the boys threw in a massive
defensive effort during the closing stages against the Lions to win 22-19 in
Van Wyk is currently spending his last
several days in rehab and is closing in on a full recovery from a calf injury.
He is excited to play his second season of Super Rugby this year.
“I’m very happy with my progress in the
senior squad over the past year. The coaches believed I would make a strong
impact at wing because of my pace and physicality, and although I’m a specialised
centre, I’m enjoying life at wing,” said Van Wyk.
“(Backline coach) Robbie Fleck told me he
also started his senior career at wing before he established himself at centre,
so maybe I will make the switch back to the midfield one day. But for now, I’m
happy to play my part for the team at wing.”
Playing at wing, Van Wyk has been compared
to a famous speedster in former Springbok and Stormers legend Pieter Rossouw,
more affectionately known in the Cape as “Slaptjips”.
“Wow! What an honour! If the fans are
calling me the next ‘Slaptjips’, that makes me very proud. I hope I can make
the same impact for the Stormers as he did during his career,” said Van Wyk.
In their next assignment, the Stormers host
the Sharks at Newlands this Saturday (19:10).
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