Veteran Fourie on second Stormers stint: ‘I like the energy of the youngsters’
Deon Fourie proved to be a thorn in the side of the Lions… (Photo by Gordon Arons/Gallo Images)
- Deon Fourie has had a significant impact since returning to the Stormers.
- The 35-year-old ranked No. 6 in the Cape Town-based franchise this season.
- He will be hoping to help Stormers claim victory in their United Rugby Championship quarter-final clash against Edinburgh on Saturday.
While many wrote them off at the start of the United Rugby Championship (URC), the Stormers proved to be tough at home and won their fair share on the road as well.
Combining a formidable pack with full-backs ready to give the ball some air, the Cape Town-based franchise finished second in the URC newspaper after the group stages and secured a semi-final at home to Edinburgh next Saturday.
In terms of average age, the Stormers have a reasonably young squad compared to others in the competition, but there’s always room for a grizzled veteran in the ranks to provide advice and experience.
One of those veterans is Deon Fourie, a former franchise hooker during the Super Rugby years but now most often wears the No.6 shirt.
Fourie’s experience playing abroad over the past seven years in France for Lyon (91 caps) and Grenoble (42 caps) is invaluable for John Dobson’s men.
As they reach the business side of the URC, there is no doubt that the experience will be increasingly in demand.
The 35-year-old relishes the challenge, although he admits the team is very different to the one he left all those years ago, especially in terms of overall team experience.
“Coming back now, it’s in a very different context to when I left,” Fourie told the URC media team.
“Schalk Burgers and Francois Louws are gone, but what you have is a group of very energetic young guys, and ‘Dobbo’ (John Dobson) is doing a fantastic job of managing that dynamic,” Fourie said. .
“I like the pace of the game in the league and the very different styles of the opposition. I also like the energy of the youngsters. When I left the average age was around 26 or 27, and now he’s between 22 and 24, so you have a league full of young people where the fitness levels are at their highest.”
Fourie and the Stormers will be hoping to defeat Edinburgh on Saturday, with victory securing a home semi-final at the Cape Town Stadium.
Kick off is at 7:00 p.m.