Rookie flyhalf Willemse ready for Stormers goal-shot duties

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July 6, 2017
Rookie flyhalf Willemse ready for Stormers goal-shot duties

SUPPORT: Damian Willemse

When Damian Willemse was overlooked for kicking duties in the Stormers’ 40-34 win over the Cheetahs last weekend, red lights would have began flickering.

Critics’ kos is a flyhalf that doesn’t have the big match temperament or lacks the skill to line up for shots at goal.

That, though, isn’t the case with Willemse, according to his coaches at the Stormers.

And there is every chance that we will see the youngster take more responsibility when the Stormers host the Sunwolves at Newlands on Saturday (7.15pm).

Assistant coach Paul Feeney explains: “With Damian playing in his first game, Vlokkie [kicking coach Vlok Cilliers] decided that he wasn’t going to put all the pressure on him at his age.

“[He] thought it was good for Cheslin [Kolbe] to be the back-up kicker for SP [Marais] to make it easier for him [Willemse].

“This weekend playing at home and having had his first game under the belt, now at home, he might be slotting a few.”

Willemse will be the general in a backline that will excite Stormers fans.

Coach Robbie Fleck will name his side for the clash today, but it might see a big and exciting centre pairing of Damian de Allende and EW Viljoen playing next to Willemse.

Add to this the possibility of former Sevens flyer Seabelo Senatla coming in on the wing to join Dillyn Leyds and Kolbe in the back three and you can expect fireworks against the Sunwolves.

It will be interesting to see which of Leyds or Kolbe will switch to the back of the line in place of the injured SP Marais, but whoever it is will be under some pressure to put in a great performance.

Meanwhile, the Stormers were boosted yesterday by the news that three of their Springboks – De Allende, Eben Etzebeth and Steven Kitshoff – have signed new deals at the union that will keep them at Newlands until 2019.

This comes after the news that rookie flyhalf Brandon Thomson has decided to further his career in Scotland with Glasgow Warriors.

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