Rugby news from Western Province:
Five new faces at DHL Newlands this season:
Western Province Rugby group CEO, Paul Zacks, has confirmed that five new players have signed to boost the senior squad ahead of the 2017 season.
Hooker Ramone Samuels, loose forwards Johan du Toit and Stephan de Wit, fullback SP Marais and utility back Dan Kriel have all signed contracts to ply their trade at DHL Newlands.
Samuels and openside flank De Wit join from the Xerox Golden Lions, Du Toit joins his brother Pieter-Steph in the Cape after a spell with the Cell C Sharks, whilst Kriel and Marais come from the Vodacom Blue Bulls.
“These players will all provide important depth in a squad that has recently been bolstered by a number of key contract extensions amongst the current playing group,” said Zacks.
Director of Rugby Gert Smal said that each new signing will offer something unique, to complement the current playing roster.
“In Stefan de Wit we have a genuine openside flank who plays towards the ball, which should bring some balance to our loose forwards.
“Johan du Toit is a powerful player with a good rugby brain who can cover more than one position in the back row.
“Ramone Samuels is a hooker who has shown great potential, and I am looking forward to seeing him grow in our set-up.
In SP Marais we have an experienced head at the back, whilst Dan Kriel is an exciting player who has great versatility,” said Smal.
President of the Western Province Rugby Football Union, Mr Thelo Wakefield, said that the new signings underline the ambition of the Union going forward.
“We are a proud Union and in terms of our Vision 2020 strategic goals, we are looking to put in place the right playing and coaching structures and personnel,” said Wakefield.
The DHL Stormers’ pre-season fixtures have also been confirmed, starting with a trip to Harare in Zimbabwe where they will face the Toyota Cheetahs on January 28th, followed by a clash with franchise partners South Western Districts in George on February 4, before concluding their preparations for the 2017 Vodacom Super Rugby season with a match against the Emirates Lions at DHL Newlands on February 11.
Join the DHL Stormers for a Fun Run in Hermanus:
The DHL Stormers are calling on their faithful fans to join them for a Fun Run in Hermanus on Saturday, January 14.
The Fun Run, which is free of charge and starts at 08h00 at Hermanus Primary School on Saturday, will bring an end to the DHL Stormers’ pre-season training camp, which got underway in Hermanus on Monday.
The DHL Stormers players will run with The Faithful along a 2.5 kilometre course, starting and finishing at Hermanus Primary School, after which there will be a signing session.
DHL Stormers Head Coach Robbie Fleck said that the Fun Run is the perfect opportunity for the players to connect with their fans ahead of the 2017 Vodacom Super Rugby season.
“The DHL Stormers Faithful are known to be amongst the most loyal fans in world rugby, so we would like to show them how much their support means to us.
“The players are working hard at our training camp this week and this Fun Run will be the ideal way to end it for us,” he said.
President of the Western Province Rugby Football Union, Mr Thelo Wakefield, said that the Fun Run is an important first step in the ‘We Stand Together’ campaign.
“We would like the DHL Stormers to be as close as possible to the community, as the support of The Faithful is the lifeblood of the team on the field.
“It is important that in everything we do, we live up to our slogan of ‘We Stand Together’, and what better way to show that than by running together in the beautiful setting of Hermanus on Saturday,” he said.
Limited parking will be available for R10 at Hermanus Primary School and refreshments will be on sale.