Loader fired up for Bok test at Loftus

Loader fired up for Bok test at Loftus


Ben Loader is relishing the opportunity to face a potential all-Springbok back three for the Vodacom Bulls on Saturday, during a first clash for the DHL Stormers flyer in Pretoria.

He is set to feature in the north-south derby at Loftus Versfeld when the Vodacom URC resumes this week, and the English winger can’t wait to pit himself against world champions Kurt-Lee Arendse, Canan Moddie and Willie le Roux.

The 25-year-old has thrived in the Stormers’ dynamic style of play since joining from the defunct London Irish this season, yet was injured for the narrow win for John Dobson’s men over the Bulls in Cape Town on 23 December.

“We always say as players we want to compete against the best, and there aren’t many better wings than those two. Then there is also Willie at fullback. It’s World Cup winners and some of the best players in the world in the back three,” Loader said in a wide-ranging interview with Netwerk24.

“I’m really looking forward to the challenge of playing against those guys. Not only to measure myself, but also to try to make my mark.”

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He added: “Unfortunately I was injured for the home game against them, but I was there as a spectator and the atmosphere was incredible.”

“The guys say Loftus is going to be almost full, so the atmosphere will be electric. I know that most of the fans will be screaming for the Bulls, but it also creates a great energy on the field.

“I’m really looking forward to it. It’s a stadium with tremendous history and a cradle of rugby up there [in the north]. It will be an honour to run there on the field.”

Loader’s explosive running has added a fresh dimension to the backline, but it’s his aerial aptitude that has driven his preparations this week.

“It’s something I’ve been working very hard on for a long time. Hanging kicks by scrumhalves are a big part of English rugby, indeed of international rugby,” he said.

“And the way the Stormers play, you also have to be aware that Manie [Libbok] or Damian [Willemse] can send a cross in your direction if you are in space.

“You have to be ready for that and I think it’s a strong point of my game, which I would like to turn into a super-strong point. I compete for a high ball with a lot of confidence.”

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Photo: Alfio Guarise/INPHO/Shutterstock


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