News24.com | Veteran Fourie on second Stormers stint: ‘I love the energy of the youngsters’
Deon Fourie proved a thorn in the Lions side… (Photo by Gordon Arons/Gallo Images)
- Deon Fourie has made a significant impact since his return to the Stormers.
- The 35-year-old has packed down at No 6 for the Cape-based franchise this season.
- He will be hoping to help the Stormers to victory in their United Rugby Championship quarter-final clash against Edinburgh on Saturday.
While many wrote them off at the beginning of the United Rugby Championship (URC), the Stormers have proved to be a tough nut to crack at home and have won their fair share on the road too.
Combining a formidable pack with backs willing to give the ball some air, the Cape-based franchise ended second on the URC log following the group stages and secured themselves a home semi-final against Edinburgh this coming Saturday.
In terms of average age, the Stormers boast a reasonably young team when compared to others in the competition, but there’s always room for a grizzled veteran in the ranks to provide guidance and experience.
One of those veterans is Deon Fourie, a former hooker at the franchise during the Super Rugby years but now turning out in the No 6 jersey more often than not.
Fourie’s experience playing overseas for the past seven years in France for both Lyon (91 caps) and Grenoble (42 caps) is invaluable to John Dobson’s men.
As they reach the business end of the URC, there is no doubt that experience will be called on more and more.
The 35-year-old relishes the challenge, although he admits the team is very different from the one he left all those years ago, especially in terms of the team’s overall experience.
“Coming back now, it is in a very different context to when I left,” Fourie told the URC media team.
“The Schalk Burgers and Francois Louws aren’t around anymore, but what you do have is a group of very energetic young guys, and “Dobbo” (John Dobson) is doing a fantastic job of managing this dynamic,” Fourie said.
“I am loving the pace of the game in the league and the very different styles of the opposition. I am also loving the energy of the youngsters. When I left, the average age was around 26 or 27, and now it sits between 22 and 24, so you have a league full of youngsters where the fitness levels are at a high.”
Fourie and the Stormers will be hoping to overcome Edinburgh on Saturday, with victory ensuring a home-semi final at Cape Town Stadium.
Kickoff is at 19:00.