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De Allende remaining grounded

20th May 2014 12:10

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DAMIAN DE ALLENDE STORMERS

Rewarded: Damian de Allende

Stormers winger Damian de Allende has taken his call up to South Africa's training squad in his stride.

The 22-year-old has been rewarded for some impressive form this season, whether used in midfield or out on the wing.

Talking about his rise so far, de Allende revealed it was initially just his dream to play for Western Province, let alone the Stormers and possibly the Springboks.

De Allende singled out South Africa captain Jean de Villiers and fellow centre Juan de Jongh for praise in helping the development of his game.

"It was always my dream to play for the senior Western Province team, after first getting a taste of it at Under-19 level," said de Allende.

"The 2012 season and playing in that Currie Cup Final was beyond my wildest dreams, but it gave me the confidence and belief to play at that level.

"Playing on the wing initially allowed me to settle into the team and, actually, I've learnt a lot about my game with all the challenges that come with playing in more than one position.

"I take plenty of inspiration from somebody like Jean de Villiers who, himself, started his senior career here on the wing.

"I also consider myself very fortunate to be able to learn from someone like Jean and Juan de Jongh, two top-quality Springbok centres, on a daily basis - both on and off the field."

De Villiers is expected to return for this weekend's match against the Cheetahs, but there is worse news for Steven Kitschoff.

Kitshoff has undergone a foot operation (after his initial MCL knee injury - suffered against the Highlanders) and he will be out of action for at least 16 weeks.

Kitshoff's foot injury is similar to that of Eben Etzebeth's. Etzebeth, of course, is yet to play a game this year but is nearing a return to fitness.

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