Can Stormers twist Dweba's arm this time?
OPINION: The Stormers’ search for a suitable replacement for departed Springbok stalwart Mbongeni Mbonambi has rattled a few cages.
It has even incited talks that linked France-based one-time Springbok Joseph Dweba to a move to Cape Town … again.
However, such talks are spurious at best.
The 26-year-old former Cheetahs hooker, who made the 2019-20 Pro14 Dream Team, has been on the Stormers’ wish list since early this year.
Initial discussions between Dweba and the Stormers coaching staff mounted to nothing.
Despite having subsequently made his Bok debut – against Argentina in Port Elizabeth in a Rugby Championship match in August – it is unlikely anything would have changed that could convince him to commit to a return to South Africa.
As a member of the wider national squad for the Rugby Championship and year-end campaigns, he still only has that solitary Test cap.
His contract with Bordeaux Bègles also only runs out midway through 2022.
And even if he does decide to exchange French francs for South African rands, the probability of moving to Newlands has the same likelihood as places like Ellis Park, Loftus Versfeld or even a return to Bloemfontein.
It will take some serious arm-twisting from the effectively bankrupt Stormers for Dweba to make Cape Town his home.
Unless, of course, Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber decides to use his considerable influence.
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A move to Cape Town remains unlikely, but not entirely improbable.
Born in Carletonville and schooled at Hoërskool Florida, in Roodepoort, he represented the Golden Lions at age-group level before he made the move to Bloemfontein in 2014.
He was called up into the South Africa Under-20 squad for the 2014 Junior World Championship held in New Zealand.
He initially struggled to get regular game time in the Cheetahs senior set up, but became a regular by 2019.
In 2020 he joined Bordeaux, in the Top 14 competition for the 2020-21 season.
He is regarded as having a bright future, with his Springbok selection based on his high work ethic and strong ball-carrying ability.
The Stormers are not short of talent in the middle of the front row.
There is young Andre-Hugo Venter, son of former Bok great Andre, Jean-Jacques Kotze, and another one-time Bok in Siyabonga Ntubeni.