Fleck: Leyds finding form that made him a Bok

    2019-04-16 06:35

    Lloyd Burnard - Sport24

    Cape Town - Stormers coach Robbie Fleck believes that Dillyn Leyds is finding the form that earned him a Springbok call-up in 2017.

    That was a big year for the now-26-year-old. 

    A player with immense skill, serious pace and soft, nifty feet, Leyds has begun to reach those heights once more, according to his coach.

    It hasn't come at fullback - Damian Willemse is currently occupying that berth for the Stormers - but rather at left wing, where Leyds has been an injection of creative possibility for Fleck's men on what was a trying four-match tour. 

    He was a standout in the Stormers' 41-24 win over the Rebels in Melbourne this past Friday but was also lively in the losses to the Reds and Blues in the two previous weeks. 

    Because of his versatility and natural influence, Leyds has often fallen into that familiar South African territory of a talented player being backed as an answer in numerous positions. 

    All nine of his Bok caps under Allister Coetzee came on the wing, but both before and since then Leyds has been backed as both a fullback and, less so, a potentially game-changing playmaker at flyhalf. 

    What he has shown in recent weeks, though, is an ability to influence play from the wing as much as he can from the 'spine' positions.

    Leyds was wearing the No 11 jersey when he delivered THAT backwards pass/offload to SP Marais in the 2017 Super Rugby clash against the Chiefs at Newlands that came before his Bok debut in the same year.

    Leyds was not part of Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus' plans in 2018 with Aphiwe Dyantyi, S'bu Nkosi and Makazole Mapimpi the men entrusted. 

    Fleck, however, believes that Leyds has been as impressive as anyone for the Stormers over the past few weekends.

    "With Dillyn, it's all about game time and getting used to playing regularly and building that confidence," the coach said at his side's Bellville training complex on Monday.

    "If you look back two years ago, he was outstanding and that's when he got that Bok call-up.

    "If you remember that Chiefs offload ... I feel like he's finding that sort of form again now.

    "I felt that he was outstanding on this tour. When he moved to the wing, particularly in that Blues game, he created a hell of a lot of opportunities for us out wide.

    "He controlled us in that wide channel and continued that form against the Rebels were he constantly created opportunities."

    Leyds, it seems, will now be given every chance to have an extended run on the wing. 

    Erasmus will be watching, and there is enough Super Rugby to for him to gain some real heat before the Boks play again.

    The Stormers are next in action when they host the Brumbies at Newlands on Saturday.

    Kick-off is at 15:05.


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