Leyds has unfinished business in SA, eyes Bok berth, Lions tour

    2020-01-28 13:14

    Herman Mostert - Sport24

    Cape Town - Stormers utility back Dillyn Leyds has unfinished business in South African rugby and is eager to hit the ground running in this year's Super Rugby tournament.

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    The 27-year-old fullback/wing revealed on Monday that he had options to leave the Stormers at the end of 2019, but was happy to sign a new deal.

    "I'm still here for two years. For me personally, it was a difficult decision but in the same breath a pretty easy one as well. There are things that I still want to achieve here," Leyds said at the Stormers' High Performance Centre in Bellville on Monday as they prepared for this weekend's Super Rugby opener against the Hurricanes at Newlands.

    Leyds played 10 Tests for the Springboks between 2017 and 2019, but was not part of last year's victorious World Cup campaign in Japan.

    "When the Springboks won the World Cup it was a really good thing for everyone involved... but for me, I still want to be involved in that as well. I have a couple of Test matches but I don't think if you mention the name Dillyn Leyds someone's going to say he's a Springbok. 'He's a Stormers stalwart', that's the type of thing they would come up with. I still want to play, hopefully, a lot more Tests for the Springboks and hopefully to be involved in that once in a lifetime British and Irish Lions tour."

    Leyds' younger brother Tristan is also part of the Stormers squad this year and the Springbok said he would like to pull over the blue and white jersey with his sibling.

    "Also, a big thing for me to stay was the fact that my brother is involved in the senior group now as well. And probably my biggest dream of all is to run on to Newlands and play a game for the Stormers with my brother."

    Leyds added that he was excited to work with the new Stormers management group.

    "Obviously, the opportunity to work with Dobbo (John Dobson) and Dawie (Snyman) and his team, Normie (Norman Laker) and the guys... I think for them to be able to take over and be in charge of the Stormers is a really good thing and we're all excited about how they're going to turn things around."

    Looking ahead to Saturday's opener against the Hurricanes, Leyds said the absence of All Blacks flyhalf Beauden Barrett - who has moved to the Blues - would not make the men from Wellington any less potent on attack.

    "I think Jackson Garden-Bachop will probably be their No 10. And he played a couple of games last year with the All Blacks resting their players. He just brings a different dynamic. And with Beauden not there, they obviously have lost a major attacking threat, but there are threats all over... you just have to look at channel one and they've got Ngani Laumape and Vince Aso... Jordie Barrett is still there - he could probably still play at No 10. He did so during the World Cup. They could surprise us with the selection of TJ (Perenara) and No 9 and Jordie at No 10. So, I think they've still for a lot of attacking threats all over the park," Leyds concluded.

    Dobson will name his team on Thursday, with Saturday's match at Newlands scheduled for 15:05.

    READ: Stormers' World Cup hero eyes scrum dominance against Hurricanes

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