Wed 29 Jun 2022 | 08:22

Willemse talks about his Springboks evolution

Willemse talks about his Springboks evolution
Wed 29 Jun 2022 | 08:22
Willemse talks about his Springboks evolution

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Stormers utility back Damian Willemse has opened up about his ongoing evolution in the Springbok setup.


Willemse has always been a very mercurial talent.

His skills certainly make him a vital component – not only in the Stormers squad, but for the Springboks as well.

The 24-year-old has played at inside centre for the Stormers during the United Rugby Championship and proved to be very comfortable in the No.12 jersey.

However, in the Springbok set-up, he is continuing his role as a ‘utility back’.

On Tuesday, Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber revealed they are slowly moulding Willemse – who will play at fullback, where he started four of his 14 Tests – into the next Frans Steyn-type player.

The 24-year-old playmaker will need to be more than capable of playing at centre, fullback and flyhalf.


“I am really comfortable with covering multiple positions,” Willemse told reporters.

“At the Stormers, I’ve been playing at No.12 and No.15 and even played a game on the wing against the Sharks. It is definitely a skill set I have been training.

“Think this weekend is all about going out there and executing my role and putting the forwards and the team in good spaces.

“I would like to play really well and just do what is required of me.”


When asked if he would slot in at flyhalf, should Elton Jantjies exit the field, Willemse said: “It is always possible, but I can cover No.10 or No.12, and Willie Le Roux is always another option.

“It is the coach’s call.”

The United Rugby Championship winner will face the possibility of going head to head with Wales veteran Liam Williams.

However, that does not phase Willemse, who is ready for the contest.

“Liam has loads of experience at Test level and he is very well known,” Willemse said.

“I got to work with him at Saracens and he is a top player, so I’m really excited about the challenge.

“I know he is going to give everything as he usually does.”






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