CAPE TOWN – Dillyn Leyds has created all sorts of problems for the opposition on the wing, but the recently-capped Springbok is looking forward to operating at fullback for Western Province in the absence of SP Marais.
With Marais sidelined with injury for an unspecified period, Leyds seems the obvious choice to start in the No 15 jersey in Province’s Currie Cup date with the Sharks at Newlands on Saturday.
It’s his experience and efficacy at the back that almost guarantees a seamless positional shift for Leyds, and it’s a possibility the 24-year-old is certainly looking forward to.
“Going forward, it’s definitely a position I want to play more in,” Leyds said. “We don’t know how long SP will be out for, but hopefully in that time, I’ll be covering there and once he gets back, we’ll make the shift again.”
Leyds has enjoyed a superb season both at Super Rugby and Currie Cup level, and he was rewarded for his on-field productions with a Springbok call-up for the three-Test series against France.
But the lethal finisher’s game time in the green-and-gold was kept to a minimum in June and, after being included in the Bok’s Rugby Championship squad, he was one of five players released for Currie Cup duty last week ahead of the Championship-opening match against Argentina in Port Elizabeth
And despite missing out on international action, Leyds believes he gained confidence from his inclusion – confidence he put to full use to wreak havoc in their 39-3 win over the Golden Lions at the weekend.
“Being in the Springboks’ wider squad does give you confidence,” Leyds said at the team’s training base in Bellville.
Leyds added that although he would like to play a part in the Boks’ Rugby Championship plans, his focus is on helping WP achieve their Currie Cup title hopes.
“I can only control what I do on a Saturday afternoon or a Friday evening. Hopefully I still get a chance during this Rugby Championship, but I’m with Province now, and ultimately we want to win this Currie Cup. And that’s where my focus is.”
The versatile back also praised wings Raymond Rhule and Courtnall Skosan and fullback Andries Coetzee for their work in the Test arena.
“Those three guys are doing very well there, so it’s just about me continuing what I’m doing and not worrying too much about selection.”
In Province’s victory against the Lions at Newlands, the hosts produced a monster effort on defence, but they were clinical with the little possession they had – clinical enough to run in six stunning tries.
Leyds also feels Province should do more attacking and defend a little less against the men from Durban, but he was nonetheless confident about what they achieved in their last two games, against the Blue Bulls and the Golden Lions.
“Against Griquas we weren’t as clinical as we should have been, so it was good to see that some of the passes actually stuck this time around. There are probably still a couple of points left out there, but it’s nice these things are coming our way, and we’re scoring a few five-pointers.
“It’s not nice coming in on a Monday knowing we made 200-something tackles, but we got two good wins after the defeat to Griquas, so we’re also confident in our ability.
“We have a bye next week, so we’d like to go into the bye with a win.”