Gelant is expected to more than fill hole WP, Stormers need plugged

Warrick Gelant of the Vodacom Bulls is back in the starting lineup for the weekend clash.
Warrick Gelant of the Vodacom Bulls is back in the starting lineup for the weekend clash.
Image: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

He may not be a duplicate‚ like-for-like replacement for the departing Dillyn Lleyds but Warrick Gelant will more than fill the hole Western Province and the Stormers need plugged.

While Lleyds often has to dig into his resilience and resourcefulness‚ the wonderfully intuitive Gelant is a silent assassin who ghosts into areas that has the opposition scrambling.

He also has the propensity to ghost his way out of matches‚ whereas Lleyds operates on a more reliable frequency.

Gelant‚ who played in two Rugby World Cup matches last year‚ will be a valuable acquisition.

“With Dillyn Lleyds 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‚” noted Stormers coach Johnn Dobson.

Apart from operating in the No 15 jersey‚ Gelant of course also shares Lleyds’ versatility. In fact‚ the pair featured on opposite wings when the former featured in the Springboks starting line-up for the first time against Wales in Cardiff in 2017.

Former Bulls coach John Mitchell noted in 2017 that Gelant can eventually settle in the No13 jersey‚ while his ability to occasionally run at first receiver is a feature that cannot be underplayed.

Gelant’s regular presence at fullback for the Stormers will also allow Damian Willemse to establish himself at flyhalf.

It is a position in which he is yet to fully stamp his authority at Super Rugby level.

“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.

"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‚” said Dobson of the player who turned 25 on Wednesday.

The Stormers certainly possess firepower in their back division with Willemse‚ Herschel Jantjies‚ Seabelo Senatla and Sergeal Petersen always ready to dazzle.

It is understood that Gelant‚ a long-time Western Province fan‚ will move to the Cape for less money.