Dillyn Leyds: The Stormer who just never seems to fade away

Dillyn Leyds of the Stormers is tackled during the round 7 Super Rugby match between the Blues and the Stormers at Eden Park on March 30, 2019 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)

Dillyn Leyds of the Stormers is tackled during the round 7 Super Rugby match between the Blues and the Stormers at Eden Park on March 30, 2019 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)

It’s still debatable whether he’s really Springbok material, but nobody is ever really unaware of him.

To say Dillyn Leyds was merely influential for the Stormers in last weekend’s 41-24 victory over the Rebels is doing him an injustice.

The 26-year-old winger was simply outstanding.

His first act was to run in untouched from about 30 metres for the opening try, evading five defenders.

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Then came the deft, perfectly timed pass to Damian Willemse, who carried brilliantly to let Juarno Augustus in.

And the kicker: breaking through the Rebels’ initial defensive wall by merely running straight and providing Damian de Allende with momentum for his try.

That’s Leyds for you, capable of world-class brilliance, but also dogged by a lack of faith in himself as well as his coaches.

Yet one can never accuse the 11-cap Springbok of not giving his all.

He’s not the greatest tackler in the world, but he’ll always try his best.

A kick to clean up with no fullback in sight? You can always count on Leyds to do that dirty work.

One man though who believes the man from Somerset West is a lot squarer in the Springbok frame than some are willing to concede is franchise coach Robbie Fleck.

“Look, with Dill it’s all about game-time and getting used to playing regularly and building confidence,” said the former Bok midfielder.

“Two years ago, he was outstanding and that’s how he got that Springbok call-up. Everybody remembers THAT off-load against the Chiefs at Newlands and I feel his finding that form again.”

Given the challenges of Allister Coetzee’s tenure as Springbok coach, it probably isn’t too surprising that Leyds went off the boil last season before steadily regaining form in the Currie Cup.

This campaign didn’t deliver many fireworks before a shift back to wing did the trick on the Capetonians’ recently concluded tour.

“I felt that he was outstanding on this tour. When he moved to the wing, particularly in that Blues game, he created a hell of a lot of opportunities for us out wide,” said Fleck.

“He controlled us in that wide channel and continued that form against the Rebels were he constantly created opportunities.”

Whether current Bok coach Rassie Erasmus rates him highly enough for a recall is debatable, but – at this current trajectory – not many people will remain unaware of him.

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