Fourie to galvanise Cape attack

Robbie Fleck believes Jaque Fourie would add some much needed vigour to the Stormers’ backline.

Fourie is set to leave the Golden Lions and join Western Province after the Tri-Nations. The Star reported on Wednesday that negotiations are in the final stages and given the Lions have no binding contract with the Springbok No 13, Fourie could be heading to Cape Town as soon as September.

Fourie should arrive just as Bok midfield partner Jean de Villiers departs for Ireland. Gcobani Bobo, another former Bok and WP centre, is already playing in Europe, so the acquisition of Fourie is an important one.

Having represented the Boks and WP at outside centre, Fleck can’t wait to see Fourie in a Cape jumper.

‘He’s such a quality player. When you talk to people about power and strike runners hitting the line, you talk about Jaque Fourie,’ he told keo.co.za. ‘If the WP head honchos do manage to get him down here, they would have done very well. It would be fantastic for rugby in this region.’

Looking ahead, Stormers coach Rassie Erasmus is likely to play flyhalf Willem de Waal alongside a centre-pairing of Peter Grant and Fourie. The Stormers will continue with their territorial-based approach, but having a gamebreaker like Fourie in tow is certain to enhance their attack.

‘I’d love to see how he goes alongside Bash [Grant] in midfield,’ said Fleck. ‘It may be disappointing for a young guy like Juan de Jongh, who I believe has done well for us, but on the other hand, who better to learn from than the best in the business?’

Fleck is currently employed as WP’s backline coach and admits the team has failed to live up to their attacking potential. He highlighted poor execution and decision-making as stumbling blocks, but also said conditions haven’t been conducive to running rugby.

‘Except for the matches against Griquas and the Blue Bulls, we’ve had to deal with some very slippery conditions. It hasn’t been easy, but there are no excuses, we need to be more accurate.

‘We’ve been working hard on the accuracy of our kicking as well, as you need to play yourself into position before launching an attack. With Willem de Waal out injured, our whole team dynamic has had to change.

‘Willem’s the guy who can kick on the same one-metre squared area nine times out of 10. Bash has a boot on him, but we know his natural game is to take it to the line. We’ve had to rethink things slightly with Willem going down with injury.’

The bad news for fans who were hoping to see a try-fest is that the Boland Stadium pitch is in poor condition. There could be more kicking than running at the Cape derby this Saturday.

‘We will go to Wellington to check the field [on Friday], but from what I’ve heard, it’s not in great nick. It’s going to be very tough to play on that pitch, and accurate kicking is going to be more important than ever,’ said Fleck.

‘We may not have the left boot of Willem to call on, but we still have a reliable alternative in Gio Aplon. Bash has been very solid, but Dewaldt Duvenhage and Joe Pietersen will also have a lot to do this weekend.’

By Jon Cardinelli