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Stormers statement: The signing of lock JD Schickerling

By Liam Heagney
JD Schickerling in action this year with Kobe Steelers (Photo by Buddhika Weerasinghe/Getty Images)

John Dobson has further bolstered his Stormers pack ahead of the 2024/25 season, unveiling second row JD Schickerling as a new signing just weeks after it was confirmed that loosehead Steven Kitshoff would be returning from Ulster.

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Having debuted for the Cape Town franchise in 2016, Schickerling switched to the Far East in 2021 but will now return after agreeing to a multi-year deal.

A club website statement read: “Lock JD Schickerling is the latest DHL Stormer to make his return to Cape Town, having signed a three-year deal. The 28-year-old made his DHL Stormers debut back in 2016 and earned 40 caps before making the move to Japan in 2021.

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“A schoolboy star at Paarl Gim, Schickerling is another product of the DHL Stormers structures and represented SA Schools and the Junior Springboks before moving into the senior team.

“A lock who is equally at home in either the four or five jersey, the imposing Schickerling will add valuable second row depth to the squad when he makes his return in July.”

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Dobson said: “JD is yet another player who was born and bred here, so to have him back in the fold again is very exciting. You will not find a more hard-working rugby player anywhere and he is someone who will slot right back into our environment without any hassle.

“Having worked with JD for many years, I know how much this team means to him and we are all looking forward to seeing what he can bring for us when he pulls the DHL Stormers jersey on again.”

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Schickerling added: “Since leaving three years ago I have kept in touch with a lot of the guys and obviously followed the DHL Stormers closely.

“What they have achieved since then is incredibly impressive and I can’t wait to be a part of it again. I’ll be doing all I can to bring my part and make an impact for the team.”

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Jon 23 hours ago
Why Sam Cane's path to retirement is perfect for him and the All Blacks

> It would be best described as an elegant solution to what was potentially going to be a significant problem for new All Blacks coach Scott Robertson. It is a problem the mad population of New Zealand will have to cope with more and more as All Blacks are able to continue their careers in NZ post RWCs. It will not be a problem for coaches, who are always going to start a campaign with the captain for the next WC in mind. > Cane, despite his warrior spirit, his undoubted commitment to every team he played for and unforgettable heroics against Ireland in last year’s World Cup quarter-final, was never unanimously admired or respected within New Zealand while he was in the role. Neither was McCaw, he was considered far too passive a captain and then out of form until his last world cup where everyone opinions changed, just like they would have if Cane had won the WC. > It was never easy to see where Cane, or even if, he would fit into Robertson’s squad given the new coach will want to be building a new-look team with 2027 in mind. > Cane will win his selections on merit and come the end of the year, he’ll sign off, he hopes, with 100 caps and maybe even, at last, universal public appreciation for what was a special career. No, he won’t. Those returning from Japan have already earned the right to retain their jersey, it’s in their contract. Cane would have been playing against England if he was ready, and found it very hard to keep his place. Perform, and they keep it however. Very easy to see where Cane could have fit, very hard to see how he could have accomplished it choosing this year as his sabbatical instead of 2025, and that’s how it played out (though I assume we now know what when NZR said they were allowing him to move his sabbatical forward and return to NZ next year, they had actually agreed to simply select him for the All Blacks from overseas, without any chance he was going to play in NZ again). With a mammoth season of 15 All Black games they might as well get some value out of his years contract, though even with him being of equal character to Richie, I don’t think they should guarantee him his 100 caps. That’s not what the All Blacks should be about. He absolutely has to play winning football.

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