Leyds to step up at 15 for Stormers?

    2018-02-16 13:31

    Lloyd Burnard

    Cape Town - 2018 has the potential to be a big year for Dillyn Leyds

    Highly-rated for his attacking flair and skill with ball in hand, the 25-year-old had a breakthrough season in 2017 when a string of impressive Super Rugby performances saw him push his way into the Springbok side for a debut against France at Loftus in June. 

    Leyds would go on to play nine Tests for the Boks last year, with all of his six starts coming on the wing. 

    On Saturday, though, he will start at fullback for the Stormers when they take on the Jaguares at Newlands in this year's Super Rugby opener. 

    The uncertainty surrounding Leyds's best position has worked both for and against him. 

    There is a passionate base of supporters who are convinced that Leyds possesses the ability to be a natural playmaking flyhalf, while Western Province coach John Dobson is on record as saying that Leyds is best suited to No 15. 

    Allister Coetzee, meanwhile, played him as a wing in Bok colours throughout last year. 

    Fleck, for now, seems to agree with Dobson though the decision for this weekend was made easier by the fact that SP Marais is still struggling with a toe injury. 

    Leyds' versatility makes him an attractive impact player off the bench, but it also means that he might have more struggles than others in securing a regular starting spot in a specialised position the Springbok XV this year. 

    One thing that may be lingering in the back of his mind is the fact the Boks, in all likelihood, will be looking for a new fullback in 2018. 

    Andries Coetzee was given that responsibility throughout 2017, but he struggled to make a real impact and would do well to hold onto his place under new Director of Rugby Rassie Erasmus. 

    Leyds will know that, if he hits the ground running this season, he will do his Bok credentials no harm. 

    For now, though, the focus is Super Rugby and the Stormers and Fleck believes that Leyds is a crucially important player.

    "He had a massive season both for the Stormers and South Africa," Fleck said.

    "To have that calmness at the back and the way that he has been going lately, it gives us a lot of confidence.

    "He is a leader in the group and he is going to be a big decision maker in terms of what we get up to on the weekend. Hopefully he can control things nicely at the back."

    On the wings, meanwhile, the Stormers have backed Seabelo Senatla and debutant Raymond Rhule.

    Kick-off on Saturday is at 15:05.



    15 Dillyn Leyds, 14 Seabelo Senatla, 13 EW Viljoen, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Damian Willemse, 9 Dewaldt Duvenage, 8 Nizaam Carr, 7 Cobus Wiese, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 JD Schickerling, 4 Chris van Zyl, 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Steven Kitshoff.

    Substitutes: 16 Ramone Samuels, 17 JC Janse van Rensburg, 18 Carlu Sadie, 19 Jan de Klerk, 20 Kobus van Dyk, 21 Justin Phillips, 22 George Whitehead, 23 JJ Engelbrecht.


    15 Joaquin Tuculet, 14 Ramiro Moyano, 13 Matias Orlando, 12 Bautista Ezcurra, 11 Emiliano Boffelli, 10 Nicolas Sanchez, 9 Gonzalo Bertanou, 8 Tomas Lezana, 7 Javier Ortega Desio, 6 Pablo Matera, 5 Tomas Lavanini, 4 Matias Alemanno, 3 Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro, 2 Agustin Creevy, 1 Felipe Arregui

    Substitutes: 16 Julian Montoya, 17 Javier Diaz, 18 Juan Pablo Zeiss, 19 Guido Petti, 20 Marcos Kremer, 21 Martin Landajo, 22 Juan Martin Hernandez, 23 Bautista Delguy

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