United Rugby Championship: Stormers star Paul de Wet is bracing for weather changes up north

Stormers star Paul de Wet with ball in hand. Credit: Alamy
Stormers star Paul de Wet with ball in hand. Credit: Alamy

Stormers scrum-half Paul de Wet is looking to embrace the change in weather as the Cape Town men venture north for a clash against Glasgow Warriors in the United Rugby Championship (URC) and London Irish in the Champions Cup.

The defending URC champions enjoyed a good finish to the year with bonus-point wins in local derbies against the Bulls and the Lions that saw the Stormers end the year without a loss at home.

The victories see coach John Dobson’s men take a 10-point lead in the South African conference with a game in hand on the next-placed Bulls.

Big changes in weather

De Wet knows his side will need to adapt to the different weather and different challenges Glasgow will offer compared to those of the South African derbies.

“We are taking each game as a unique opportunity and challenge for the group. South African derbies take a different energy and adrenaline, but now we need to focus on the next game,” De Wet said.

“We treat all our opposition with the highest respect. Playing away from home against any team will take that extra effort. Conditions are different, and we will need to adapt and play the situation.”

De Wet has been in brilliant form this season, showing remarkable consistency that will have World Cup winner Herschel Jantjies worrying about his spot in the Stormers pecking order.

The 26-year-old, like many others, has dreams of playing at the highest level but for now is just focused on contributing to his team’s success.

“It is a great honour and privilege to play against the nines in the business, but I can only focus on my game and what is best for the team,” he said.

“I suppose every player is dreaming of the highest honours achievable. I am grateful for every opportunity to get game time, improve my game in all departments and contribute to the team’s performance.”

Adaptability is key

The conditions will be vastly different in a cold Glasgow compared to Cape Town, where the Stormers spent most of December, but De Wet believes players should be learning to adapt to whatever circumstances.

“As professionals, we need to adapt to every situation. Crowds, climate and pitches are now realities of this URC competition,” he added.

“We were exposed to it on the tours to France and Wales, and we know it will take extra focus and motivation to weather the storm.”

READ MORE: Opinion: Unbeaten home record transcends the Stormers into one of the world’s most elite

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