Dillyn Leyds has expressed disappointment that he will not have a final chance to play for the Stormers before he leaves for France. Stormers coach John Dobson revealed this week that the 27-year-old had played his final match for the club before a move to La Rochelle in the Top 14.
In such peculiar times during the Covid-19 pandemic, the ten-cap Springbok finds himself in a position that many others are in – he has already played his final game before a move.
Leyds took to Instagram to explain his dismay at how events turned out, saying: “This was definitely not how I wanted things to end and right now I would give anything for just one more 80 with the boys, but nevertheless my time has come to say goodbye.”
The South African also thanked his team-mates, the management and the fans for his seven years with the Stormers and Western Province, describing it as “an absolute dream come true”. He accompanied the message with photos of his career in Cape Town.
After making his debut for Western Province in 2013, Leyds enjoyed a brief stint in Australia with Super Rugby’s Western Force in 2014 before returning to South Africa and making his first appearance for the Stormers a year later.
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This was definitely not how I wanted things to end and right now I would give anything for just one more 80 with the boys but nevertheless my time has come to say goodbye, a really tough goodbye to the @dhlstormers and @dhlwp family. The last 7 years has all been an absolute dream come true for me. I got to do what I love and enjoy in one of the best cities in the world and at one of rugby’s most iconic venues week in and week out. To the fans, thanks so much for your support, it’s very much appreciated. You guys have really made Newlands that much more special and I think I speak for us all as players when i say we’re sad to see it go. Whether it’s a “boo” from the grand stand or “gaan sny jou hare” from the railway stand?I know I will miss it all dearly. I want to say thank you to the management and coaching staff who’ve helped and guided me during my time over here. To my team mates, words won’t do it any justice as to how much I have enjoyed my time on and off the field with you guys. I’ll leave here with so many great memories and valuable friendships that were built during this time and to me that’s ultimately the biggest W. I really hope there’ll be time for one more team social just to end it off in style. Thank you Cape Town. It was lekke, nca ,and so vibey. Hopefully I’ve also left you guys with some good memories and not just one lucky pass????
He made his debut for the Springboks in 2017, earning nine of his ten caps that year. He returned to the Test set-up in August 2019 but did not make Rassie Erasmus’ World Cup squad.
There is still no clarity as to when the Super Rugby season will resume or what will happen to this year’s Currie Cup, but France have already ended their 2019/20 Top 14 season with the aim of starting again in September with a new campaign which Leyds will be a part of.
Although these are circumstances that cannot be helped, it is still unfortunate that players find themselves leaving their clubs in a muted fashion.
It would have been remiss of the Stormers back to ignore his wonder pass in 2017 against the Chiefs which earned its place in rugby folklore. He finished by saying, “Hopefully I’ve also left you guys with some good memories and not just one lucky pass.”
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