Tue 28 Jun 2022 | 10:26

The Damian Willemse project is in full swing

The Damian Willemse project is in full swing
Tue 28 Jun 2022 | 10:26
The Damian Willemse project is in full swing
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SPOTLIGHT: Springbok head coach Jacques Nienaber has hinted that utility back Damian Willemse has a significant role to play in the 2022 international season.

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Despite making his debut in 2018, the 24-year-old Willemse only has 15 Test caps to his name.

However, that number is set to increase as Nienaber wants to see him develop fully into Frans Steyn’s successor.

Willemse, who was a star in the midfield for the Stormers during the United Rugby Championship, has been given the fullback role for Saturday’s Test against Wales in Pretoria. He will also be asked to cover flyhalf as well should anything happen to Elton Jantjies.

“There is a project with Damian,” said Nienaber.

“Look at what Frans Steyn brings to the team. He is a guy that can play No.10, No.12 and No.15.

“I think Damian Willemse is someone who is probably in that mould for us.”

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Nienaber was pleased to see Willemse’s growth as a player during the URC.

“I am glad for him because last year we had a plan on the end-of-year tour and unfortunately he only played 12 or 13 minutes against Wales before he got concussed. He wasn’t up for selection for the Scotland and England games.

“I hope that things will work out for him this year and we can give him an extended run and give him as much exposure as possible in international rugby.

“But the whole squad must make sure that they perform and tick the boxes that we want them to tick.”

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