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Stormers fight off English interest in Connor Evans

By Neil Fissler
Connor Evans of DHL Stormers is tackled by Rob Simmons of London Irish during Round 3 of the Heineken Champions Cup at Gtech Community Stadium on January 15, 2023 in Brentford, England. (Photo by Eddie Keogh/Getty Images)

The Stormers have moved to keep highly-rated lock Connor Evans out of the clutches of admiring Premiership clubs after signing him up for another three years.

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The Cape Town-born lock, 22, caught the eye of watching Premiership and RFU scouts when the Stormers played a recent friendly against Northampton Saints at Franklins Gardens.

RugbyPass highlighted four years ago that Evans was South Africa’s No. 1 schoolboy player in their NextGenXV when he attended the legendary Bishops, a private school in Cape Town.

The former South African schools international who qualifies for a UK passport has played seven games for the Stormers this season but has only made one start against La Rochelle in the Champions Cup.

Evans, who stands at 6ft 6 and tips the scales at 112kg, played 11 games last season and was part of the Springbok under-20 side that secured a summer series final win over Wales in July 2022 at the end of his breakthrough campaign.

He has caught the eye of United Championship rivals the Ospreys in the past, and according to Netwerk24 the Stormers were desperate to keep him on the Cape and dangled the carrot of a new long-term deal to make sure he does.

Meanwhile, the Stormers are closing in on securing the return of former junior Springbok lock JD Schickerling, who has been playing for Kobelco Kobe Steelers in Japan’s Rugby League One.

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Schickerling, 28, who hails from Calvinia in the Northern Cape and stands at 6ft 8ins, was a target for the Scarlets last season and made 40 appearances for the URC big hitters before moving to Japan.

He has been touted for a move to his former club since the start of the year and will also be offered a three-year contract to secure his signature on a contract from the start of next season.

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Abe 3 hours ago
Waratahs 'counter-culture' limits Wallaby options for Joe Schmidt

Not a fan of your picks. McReight is good at club level but he is too small for international level and has consistently disappointed there. Better to go for larger guys. Kemeney, Valentini, Hooper, Leota, Samu, Swinton, etc. Aalatoa and Nonga are woeful scrummagers and don’t offer much around the field. Wallabies will not win if the scrum falls to pieces. The fact that Faamissli hasn’t been developed is a tragedy. Need a scrum that doesn’t give away penalties. So looks like a Talakai maybe instead. Best scrummagers need to be selected. McDermott runs the ball too much and doesn’t fit into a structured attack like Schmidts. Gets isolated too often. Ok off the bench late but not for 60 mins. Goal kicking has to be one of the top 3 points for a 10 so that does in Gordon and O’Connor. Be better off going for lynagh on that front. Donaldson and Noah seem to be doing best of the established names. QC a better mentor type guy than OConnor as well if he’s playing. Daugunu has been the most consistent 13 and breaks the line a lot so must be in the squad. Joost has also been good. Richie Arnold playing well for Toulouse and is a preeminent lineout jumper so needs to be in. Latu also playing well for La Rochelle and is better scrummager than the Aussie choices so should be in. The big guy at the Tahs Amataroso I think it is needs to be developed as well. Otherwise the team will be too small. Hodge is a better choice at fullback than Wright. Latter makes too many mistakes. Not sure if Hodge available.

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T
Turlough 7 hours ago
Four Leinster talking points after latest Champions Cup final loss

First of all: hats off to Toulouse an outstanding performance. Duponts kicking was phenomenal. Twice he challenged Keenan with amazing clearances from his 22 in extra time. Result was territory deep in Leinster half in the early part of extra time which lead to 2 penalties and the game. Remember also his two 50:22s? Now to Willis/Dupont. ANY slight isolation by a Leinster player resulted in a turnover penalty. How many turnovers in the Toulouse 22? Leinster’s defense was immense, they had opportunities in attack but they honestly looked like they had not spent enough time passing the ball in the training in the weeks preceding the final. Game management was poor. Toulouse’s scrum had crumbled. At 15-15 Leinster had a scrum advantage in a position that would be kickable for a scrum penalty. Leinster played on and missed a long range drop goal. You MUST take the scrum surely? Win penalty and its a shot at goal to win with time up. No penalty and you can attack and drop goal whatever. The distance from sideline penalties from Byrne was shocking. If you are kicking the line you must get close to that 5 metre line. How many times were Leinster forced to maul from 10-15 metres? Toulouse KNEW Leinster was going to kick and maul and clearly spent considerable training time neutralizing thuis threat. The maul was starting too far out, Toulouse were able to stop the heart of the drive. You must change tack and start kicking for goals. That said it always felt like Toulouse were the potent team on the day with Leinster under pressure and chasing. Even with their backline completely disrupted, Toulouse found a way. 9 Wins in their last 9 finals. Leinster will be there next year. But so will Toulouse/Northhampton etc. A great era of club rugby.

17 Go to comments
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