Deon Fourie says he’ll return to hooker next season, despite an impressive stint at openside flank during the Currie Cup.
In WP’s 12-match campaign, team captain Fourie (a specialist hooker) only started in the No 2 jersey in two games during the opening rounds of the domestic competition.
Head coach Allister Coetzee utilised the player as an openside flank because of his loose forward injuries, which included Schalk Burger, Siya Kolisi and Nizaam Carr. No 8 Duane Vermeulen was also on international duty with the Springboks.
Fourie impressed in the loose trio, with his standout performance coming in the 25-18 final victory over the Sharks. He was a key in the breakdown assault during the win, which denied the Sharks quality ball on attack. The 26-year-old was also a regular ball carrier and was resilient on defence, earning him the Man of the Match award.
‘I enjoyed my time at flank, but I’ll be returning to the hooker berth in Super Rugby next year,’ Fourie told keo.co.za. ‘With guys like Schalla and Siya returning from injury, they’ll be first choice in the loose trio.’
Fourie added that he’s committed to the Stormers and WP: ‘My move to Toulon came with a few hiccups, but I’m delighted to stay in Cape Town. That decision was made before the Currie Cup final, so you can imagine how I feel being part of this winning team. I don’t see myself playing for another union or franchise.
‘It’s been a long time coming, but we’ve finally crossed the finish line. I’m looking forward to building on to this success next season. With some experienced guys coming back from injury and the youngsters who’ve emerged during the Currie Cup, we have a strong squad.’
The Stormers will boast three in-form hookers in Fourie, Springbok Tiaan Liebenberg and Scarra Ntubeni in 2013.
Twenty-year-old Ntubeni is one of the youngsters who impressed on the domestic scene this year. Coetzee hailed his contribution during his debut Currie Cup campaign, especially during the final at Kings Park.
By Gareth Duncan