Stormers brace for ‘Newlands’ in France
IN THE SPOTLIGHT: The Stormers are in for a very hostile reception in their debut Champions Cup fixture against Clermont on Saturday.
The fixture marks another tremendous occasion in the franchise’s history.
For the majority of the players, it will be the first time they will experience the Champions Cup.
Deon Fourie, Joseph Dweba, Brok Harris, Alapati Leuia and the returning Steven Kitshoff all previously played in Europe’s top tournament.
Having spent seven years in France with Lyon and Grenoble, Fourie has provided his team with some sound advice ahead of the clash.
He warned his team that the atmosphere at the Stade Marcel Michelin is very similar to Newlands.
“It will be nice for the guys, especially the experience at the stadium,” Fourie said.
“It’s almost like Newlands.
“It feels like the crowd and stadium are on top of you.”
He added: “From my past experience, the guys tend to raise their level in this competition.
“This is such a prestigious competition and this is usually when they put in all their big stars. It’s a big thing to win the Champions Cup.”
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When asked about the threat Clermont will pose, the 36-year-old explained: “A big team like Clermont, they are also packed with international stars and quality players. Up front will be the biggest task.
“We saw in the game between the French and the Springboks on the end-of-year tour, they are quite dominant and have evolved a bit in that department as well.
“They also have quality strike players like [France wing] Damian Penaud. So this is going to be an all-out clash.”