Sikhumbuzo Notshe makes a pass during a Stormers training session at Newlands in early February. Photo: Chris Ricco/BackpagePix

CAPE TOWN – Forwards coach Russell Winter is hoping that “super conditioned” loose forward Sikhumbuzo Notshe will bring his sevens experience into the Stormers’ game if he gets a chance against the Waratahs on Saturday.

The Stormers will kick off their Super Rugby tour to Australasia in Sydney, before heading to New Zealand to take on the Crusaders and the Highlanders.

Notshe joined the Blitzbok set-up in October last year and made his debut for the SA Rugby Sevens Academy side in Dubai in December, and his Blitzboks bow soon followed – at the Sydney leg of the World Sevens Series this year, where he replaced Ruhan Nel.

The quick-footed forward returned to the Stormers following the Springboks Sevens’ run in Wellington. And now Winter is excited about the “different element” Notshe will bring to the Stormers.

“He’s been out of the system for quite a while now. One thing we can be guaranteed on is that he’ll be fit," Winter said during a teleconference call from Sydney on Tuesday.

“We all know that Notshe brings a different element in his game. So, it’s good having him back and we’re looking forward to seeing what he can do if he has a go.

“I would love to see how he brings that speed to the game and at the same time, he’s become super conditioned.

“In Sevens you can’t not be fit, so I’m sure those two aspects of his game have improved a helluva lot.

“And then of course, we all know he’s a skilful player with good feet, and that’s needed in the 15-man game as well.”

Winter also said that although the Stormers boast good depth in the back row, he added that Notshe should be given a chance to “see what he can bring”.

“We have a lot of very good loose forwards. We have No 7 flanks who perform the role of a seven flank very well, and we have No 6 flanks who work towards the ball. Then we also have Nizaam Carr at No 8.

“He (Notshe) hasn’t played a 15-man game in quite a while, and he didn’t play in those warm-up games like the other guys have done.

“But we have to give him a chance, we have to see what he can bring. So, when he gets his chance, hopefully those things he learnt with the sevens he can bring into our game.”

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