Simon Borchardt

Gelant has made a smart move to Stormers

The Stormers can get the best out of Springbok fullback Warrick Gelant, writes's editorial director.

The last sentence of the Stormers’ press release on Wednesday confirming the signing of Gelant from the Bulls was the most significant. It was a quote from the man himself, explaining why he is coming to Cape Town.

'I want to take my game to new heights and I believe that working with the players and the coaches at the Stormers will help me to do that,' said the 25-year-old.

The Bulls reportedly made Gelant a good offer to stay in Pretoria and the Lions were also keen to acquire his services. But it seems Gelant believes it’s the Stormers – and you’d presume coach John Dobson, in particular – who can get the best out of him.

In the same press release, Dobson made it clear that Gelant would be his first-choice fullback, with Damian Willemse – who has moved between 10 and 15 in the past – finally settling at flyhalf.

‘Warrick is a deadly finisher with a wonderful feel for the game and awareness of space, which is just what we need for the talent we already have in the backline to thrive,’ Dobson added.

It certainly is exciting to think what Gelant could do in a Stormers backline comprising the likes of Herschel Jantjies, Willemse, Ruhan Nel, Seabelo Senatla and Sergeal Petersen.

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The Stormers are also in a far better position than the Bulls and Lions in terms of their development as a team.

The Bulls will be rebuilding under White in 2021, while the Lions had lost five out of six Super Rugby matches this year before the season was suspended. The Joburg-based franchise also lost some key players, including Bok hooker Malcolm Marx, during the 21-day transfer window and you feel it will be a while before they are serious Super Rugby contenders again.

The Stormers did lose two games after winning their opening four fixtures this year, but showed enough progress under Dobson to suggest the best is yet to come.

Having played a bit part at last year’s World Cup, Gelant will be desperate to take his game to the next level and make the Springbok No 15 jersey his own.

The Stormers can help him achieve that goal.