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Wednesday May 1, 2024

'You get the ball in your hands and you get excited as a prop' - Neethling Fouché

DHL Stormers prop Neethling Fouché is perhaps what one calls a late bloomer in rugby terms.

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The now 31-year-old tighthead is playing the best rugby of his career in 2024, with his form being rewarded by Springbok head coach Rassie Erasmus, who called him to an ‘alignment’ camp earlier this year.

Training and competing with Bok stalwart Frans Malherbe week-in, week-out has seen Fouché take his game to the next level.

Dominating opposition scrums across the BKT URC and Investec Champions Cup, the former University of Pretoria student could be the next Deon Fourie in terms of a late test career.

One area that he won’t be asked to contribute should he get a call-up to the national team will be as a key passer…

Facing a heavily rotated Leinster side, the Stormers needed a big win to get themselves back into contention in the URC.

Leading 7 – 0 after 15 minutes, the home side were once again on the attack inside the Leinster 22m.

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Looking to get the ball wide, Fouché found himself in open space with his front-row buddy Joseph Dweba outside him.

With just one man to beat, the explosive Dweba would have backed himself to have a go at the Leinster cover defence whilst working in the field to find support.

Unfortunately for Dweba, Fouché had other ideas as he spun out what would’ve been a beauty of a pass had someone been waiting on the touchline.

As the ball left his hands and the stadium roared, Fouché watched the ball fly straight past Dweba and into touch.

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Speaking to former Stormers and Springbok captain Jean de Villiers post-match about the pass, Fouché was in flying form.

“So basically, you know, you get the ball in your hands, and you get excited as a prop.

“I am looking for this massive bridge pass and seeing JD on the side and I was thinking he was Ben Loader!

“I realised mid pass that is DJ and he is not going to catch the pass!” He joked.

Neethling Fouché on that pass
byu/za3030 inspringboks

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