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Stormers and Bulls make midseason player swap

By Josh Raisey
Wandisile Simelane of South Africa during the South Africa training session at St Stithians College on July 04, 2021 in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Photo by Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

Former Junior Springbok Wandisile Simelane is set to join the Stormers from the Bulls in a midseason swap, with centre Cornet Smit moving the other way.

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The 25-year-old centre is set to start training with the 2022 United Rugby Championship winners next week and will be available immediately as he seeks to revive his career. Simelane’s game time at the Bulls had been limited ever since arriving in 2022, but he is highly regarded in South Africa and has been part of Springboks squads in the past without being capped.

After his move was announced, Simelane said: “The DHL Stormers are a great team to watch and I can’t wait to see what I can do in that system, surrounded by some top players and coaches.

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WATCH a Springbok utility Grant Williams chats to @king365ed about the URC crunch encounter with the Lions in Durban on Saturday

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WATCH a Springbok utility Grant Williams chats to @king365ed about the URC crunch encounter with the Lions in Durban on Saturday

“This is a big move for me and I’ll be doing all I can to integrate into the squad and add value as soon as possible.”

His new head coach John Dobson said: “Wandisile is an incredibly talented player who is looking for a new start and we are happy to give him the opportunity to grow here where he will be competing with some top players already in our system.

“We pride ourselves on helping players get their careers on the right trajectory in our environment and we all know the huge potential he has, so hopefully we can help him realise that here.

“Of course with Ruhan Nel ruled out with a long-term injury the timing is perfect for us and we hope to see Wandile hit the ground running,” he said.

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Dobson also thanked Smit for his time with the Stormers, saying: “Cornel is a product of our system and a talented player who has added immense value both on and off the field here.

“He has been competing for places with some top midfielders, which has meant that has hasn’t got the gametime he would have liked or that he deserves, given his talent and dedication.

“Unfortunately we couldn’t make him any guarantees, but he is a top man who will strengthen any squad and he leaves with our best wishes.”

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William 5 hours ago
All Blacks vs England takeaways: Richie Who? Time for Cortez

Correct analysis of Perofeta’s bungling of the try opportunity Ben. Never ‘fixed’ Steward as he came across in defence and passed too early. Steward didn’t have to break his stride and simply moved on to pressure Telea. Never scanned the easier option of passing to the two supporting players on the inside. Beauden Barrett showed how it is done when he put Telea in for his try. Another point from the game is that the rush defence is hard to maintain as the number of phases increases. From scrums the defensive line only contains backs who all have roughly the same pace. Once forwards are involved, the defence has players with variable speeds often leading to a jagged line. It also tends to lose pace overall giving the attack more time and space. Beauden Barrett’s break to set up Telea’s try came because Baxter went in to tackle McKenzie and Steward went out to cover Telea. Barrett has a massive hole to run through, then commits Steward by passing as late as possible and Telea scores untouched. Another comment I would make is that Ben Earl is a good player and generally an excellent defender but he made three significant misses in the series, two of which led to All Black tries. Got stepped by Perofeta in Dunedin for Savea’s try, missed McKenzie in Auckland leading to what should have been a certain try being set up by Perofeta and was one of the tacklers who couldn’t stop Savea in the leadup to Telea’s first try. Perhaps he should contact Owen Farrell to pick up a few tips from ‘tackle school’.

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