VIDEO: Stormers have grand plans for Newlands farewell
WATCH as World Cup-winning Springbok captain Siyamthanda Kolisi speaks about leading the Stormers in their last season at Newlands.
The Stormers will say farewell to Newlands – before moving to the Cape Town stadium in the city’s Greenpoint precinct – with eight home games.
It is ironic that 2020, the 25th year of Super Rugby, will be the Stormers’ farewell to the Grande Old dame – one of the most iconic stadiums in the history of the game.
It starts on Saturday, February 1 – when the Hurricanes visit Cape Town for the opening round.
Other teams who will help celebrate the Stormers’ farewell to Newlands include the Bulls, Jaguares, Blues, Rebels, Waratahs, Sharks and Lions.
Despite having always had a talented squad of players, the Cape Town franchise has reached the tournament Final just once – losing to the Bulls in 2010.
They have been beaten semifinalists four times and reached the preliminary play-offs on three other occasions.
However, Kolisi said they are determined to say goodbye to Newlands with a title.
“It is a very emotional year,” the Bok skipper said.
“Knowing it is our last year [at Newlands] is tough for us, but we can also use it as a positive.
“We want to give the people something to smile about. It has been a tough few years since 2010.”
He said with the quality of the players they have and the new coaching staff – under the guidance of John Dobson – they are “very positive” about breaking their title drought.
“We hope to be able to say that through the challenges [on and off the field] of the last couple of years, this last year at Newlands was really amazing.”
He said they want to play winning rugby and a game that people want to watch.
“We are going to make sure we win, no matter how ugly it is. You can play the most exciting rugby, but if you don’t win that won’t bring people back to Newlands.”
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The Stormers coach, Dobson, echoed similar sentiments.
“There is going to be a lot of emotion,” Dobson said about the stadium farewell, adding has to work in our favour.
“We all love it [Newlands], we absolutely love it.
“There is only one real way to say farewell. We all know how the ending should look like at Newlands. It has to be [the Stormers playing] in the latter stages of the Super Rugby competition, if not the Final.
“That is the way to say goodbye to the Grande Old Dame of South African rugby.”