/Springbok Warrick Gelant leaves Pretoria to continue career at the Stormers

Springbok Warrick Gelant leaves Pretoria to continue career at the Stormers

2020-05-20 16:41

The
Stormers confirmed on Wednesday that Springbok Rugby World Cup-winning fullback
Warrick Gelant would join them in Cape Town, leaving the Bulls after more than
six years in Pretoria.

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Gelant
will immediately fill the void left by fullback Dillyn Leyds, who is joining
French club La Rochelle, and his acquisition gives head coach John Dobson the
bonus of a ready-made product to join his talented backline.

The
25-year-old joins fellow 2019 Rugby World Cup stars Siya Kolisi, Pieter-Steph
du Toit, Herschel Jantjies, Steven Kitshoff, Bongi Mbonambi and Damian
Willemse. The move also means Willemse will get time to settle in his favoured
No 10 position, something Dobson pointed out.

“Warrick
has established himself as one of the most dynamic backline players in South
Africa, so we could not be more thrilled to have him on our books going
forward,” said Dobson.

“With
Dillyn Leyds leaving, we couldn’t have asked for anyone better to step into the
15 jersey. I am sure his presence will also have a hugely positive influence on
the players around him.

“We
are also looking forward to giving Damian Willemse the opportunity to settle at
flyhalf going forward, with Warrick providing his trademark strike threat from
the back.

“Warrick
is a deadly finisher with a wonderful feel for the game and awareness of space,
which is just what we need for the talent we already have in the backline to
thrive.”

Gelant’s
departure is a massive loss for the Bulls, who were on a mission to build
around last year’s World Cup stars and promising young players.

Although
new director of rugby Jake White brought in 37-year-old hot-stepping veteran
Gio Aplon, Gelant was meant to be one of the fulcrum members of the Bulls
renaissance.

“Warrick
is an amazing player, and there is no doubt that he will excel wherever he
goes,” said White.

“It’s
sad to see him go and we would have loved to keep him at Loftus, but we fully
understand his decision and wish him all of the best with his rugby journey
ahead.”

Despite
being often injury-prone, Gelant was starting to sparkle once again in the
Bulls jersey before the Covid-19 pandemic brought all sport to an abrupt halt.
He will be playing in a different shade of blue by the time competitive rugby
resumes.

“I
sincerely would like to thank each individual for making my time here special,
from the coaches and players, to the management and admin staff,” Gelant
said.

“It
feels strange saying goodbye after all these years. Loftus was my home, and the
people at the Bulls were my family, but time has come for me to move on and
enter a new phase of my life.”

“I
can’t wait to join up with the Stormers and I’m very excited about what the
future holds. I want to take my game to new heights, and I believe that working
with the players and the coaches at the Stormers will help me to do
that.”

Compiled by Sibusiso Mjikeliso

Original Source