United Rugby Championship: John Dobson delighted with Clayton Blommetjies’ impact at Stormers

David Skippers
Clayton Blommtjies Stormers URC 2023 - PA.jpg

Stormers head coach John Dobson has expressed his delight at how full-back Clayton Blommetjies has adapted since joining his side at the start of the 2022/23 season.

Blommetjies had big boots to fill when the Stormers signed him as a replacement for 2019 Rugby World Cup winner Warrick Gelant, who joined Top 14 outfit Racing 92 after starring for the men from the Cape during their victorious 2021/22 United Rugby Championship (URC) campaign.

However, Gelant’s departure was offset by Blommetjies‘ acquisition from the Cheetahs as the 32-year-old has grown in stature since joining the Stormers, where he has delivered some excellent performances in the URC, and he also shone for Western Province in back-to-back victories over the Lions and Bulls in recent weeks.

The full-back’s red hot form is something which Dobson takes great pride in and likened it to other star players who have blossomed since they joined the Cape Town-based outfit.

“It started off almost by accident, this thing of turning guys [into star performers] and now we pride ourselves on it,” said Dobson.

“We’ve had the conversation about Manie Libbok, Hacjivah [Dayimani] and Evan Roos. And I was worried about ‘Blommo’ when he first came down.

“He didn’t quite get our defence system. Our back three runs massive distances and I wasn’t sure [if he could do it]. He was running about 30% or 40% less than them.

Another success story

“But we’ve invested so much in trying to coach him and he’s responded so well. I think he’s heading towards another success story.

“I thought he was exceptional tonight (Friday). It’s taken a bit of work.”

Dobson revealed that Blommetjies did not mind playing for Western Province during their Currie Cup campaign and he hit the ground running with an outstanding performance in their tournament opener against the Lions, which they won 44-28.

“We said to him, with Sacha [Feinberg-Mngomezulu] and Tristan Leyds out, ‘Would you mind coming to Ellis Park?’

“He said, ‘I’d absolutely love to. I’d love to play for Western Province’. It’s been work from both our sides and he had to learn a new system but now he’s so brilliant.

“In my mind, he was our man of the match,” added Dobson.

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