John Dobson has praised the game-changing abilities of 19-year-old scrumhalf Imad Khan, who will make his dhl Stormers debut against Glasgow Warriors on Sunday.
Khan, the Junior Springboks’ 2022 U20 Six Nations Summer Series champion, came off the bench for the Vodacom United Rugby Championship at Scotstoun Stadium.
His natural attacking talents are a perfect fit for the Storm’s style of play, and with the Springboks linebackers Herschel Jengis and Godren Masimla out injured, he could be on his first tour. In the game, he became a strong contender for the No. 9 jersey.
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Khan initially caught Dobson’s attention as an agile Bishops prodigy, as well as WP juniors and UCT Ikeys, before turning out the lights for SA U20.
Discussing his selection of Khan in Glasgow, where Diocesan alumnus Suleiman Hartzenberg, also 19, started on the wing, the Storm coach told the media: “They’re Bishop boys. , so obviously they deserve a quick cut and a cut!
“In my opinion, Imad Khan is going to be the star of SA rugby. I know I say this a lot, but I’ve seen him play in school and after school. I watched him change the game for UCT in the Varsity Cup.
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“I don’t think I’ve seen half of what he’s capable of in a long time — especially game-changing.
“We’ve just had a chance to see him and it’s been a bit of an abyss. As much as I want consistency, I want to give a guy like him some experience.
“Herschel has had quite a long injury spell and Godlen didn’t have a long-term deal with us, so Imad has to come through at some stage, so I think it’s a good opportunity to have him on tour and give him a sense of belonging because he’s Competed in some competitions… WP U20, SA U20 and UCT Varsity Cup competitions.
“So it’s important on a trip like this that he really understands how we work.”
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Harzenberg transitioned seamlessly between perimeter center and winger in his first URC season, scoring three points in seven games and moving to the wing following the New Year’s Eve derby win over the Lions.
On this week’s switch of positions, Dobson explained: “Suleiman is already proving himself; what we think is a bit of use is that the center forward is a bit tougher and we want to give him more space.
“We know their threat at 13, so we want Dan du Plessis more, without Ruhan Nel; Glasgow will challenge for a physical 13 in our channel.
“We always wanted Suleiman’s first season to be on the flanks but obviously because of the injuries we had to play him earlier.”