Stormers expecting Notshe 2.0 in Super Rugby
IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Stormers assistant coach Russell Winter is expecting Sikhumbuzo Notshe to reach new heights after his stint with the Springbok Sevens team.
Notshe joined the Sevens set-up after helping Western Province win the Currie Cup title last year. He returned to the Stormers squad ahead of the start of Super Rugby, but he did not feature in the Cape side's opening match against the Jaguares last weekend.
"He has been out of the system for quite a while now," said Winter.
"One thing we can be guaranteed of is that he will be fit. We need to see what he can bring to the table now that he is back with the team.
"We all know that Notshe brings a different element, so we are looking forward to seeing how he goes.
"We have very good loose forwards. For the first time, I think we have a very good No.7 flank who can do the specific role of a No.7 flank really well.
"We got No.6 flanks that are now working to the ball and of course we got Nizaam Carr who is back at No.8.
"We are sort of getting that rounded side that we need at the moment and now it is just a matter of finding those combinations and maybe giving guys a chance."
Winter has already noticed a difference in Notshe since he has been back with the squad.
"He has become a helluva lot quicker. I would like to see how he brings that speed to the game and at the same time he will be super conditioned.
"Sevens rugby is a game where you can't miss a tackle and you obviously can't not be fit. I’m sure those two aspects of his game has improved a helluva lot.
"Of course we all know he is a skilful player with some good feet. That is needed in the XV-man game as well. In saying that, not to protect him in any way, he hasn't played a XV-man game in quite a while. He didn't have those warm-up games like the other guys have had.
"We have to give him a chance and we have to see what he can bring. When he gets his chance, hopefully those things he learnt in Sevens can pay dividends in our game," Winter added.
The Stormers face the Waratahs in Sydney in Round Two on Saturday.
By Warren Fortune