Super Rugby: Leyds and Rhule go from friends to foe in a flash

Dillyn Leyds is too much of a nice guy to admit it but he's probably got a point to prove in Bloem this weekend. Photo: Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images.

They say a week in rugby is a lifetime. It rings true for the Stormers and Cheetahs wingers in Bloemfontein this weekend.

A week ago, Dillyn Leyds and Raymond Rhule were “special” teammates at the Springboks.

On Saturday, the two wingers are foes again when the Stormers make the trek up to Bloemfontein to face the Cheetahs.

Leyds, one of the Capetonians’ more consistent performers in this year’s Super Rugby campaign, is chilled over the challenge.

Also read: Super Rugby: Stormers have a Steven Kitshoff problem

But you can’t help but wonder if he’s got a point to prove.

After all, it was Rhule that restricted him to three appearances as substitute in the series against France.

“I suppose that’s rugby,” said Leyds.

“Obviously, when you get to the Springboks you all have a common goal. You back each other and help on and off the field.”

Franchise interests though is a whole different matter.

“We’re now at our different unions again. We know we’re going to have a full go at each other,” said the Stormers winger with a smile.

“That’s why we play this game and why we love it. That said, it’s not a one-on-one battle between Raymond and I. There are 14 other opposition players to worry about too.”

Leyds was the only Stormers backline player to feature in the Test series, meaning he worked intimately with the Springboks’ backline coach Franco Smith over the past few weeks.

Ironically, Smith is now back masterminding the Cheetahs’ charge.

Did Leyds pick up some intelligence on how the central franchise will play at the weekend?

“You pick up the feel that Franco has for the game. I have a better understanding now of how he thinks about the game and how he wants to play,” he said.

“But it’s not going to make a big difference. The Cheetahs have some quality players. It’s one thing knowing what they want to do. It’s another matter trying to stop them.”

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