Stourbridge wing Matt Williams has hailed the impact made by former Springbok Thinus Delport.
Williams, who scored one of his side’s two tries in Saturday’s victory at Otley, has revealed that the former Worcester legend has already emerged as a ‘talisman’ at Stourton Park.
Backs player-coach Delport, who played 18 times for South Africa during a stellar career that also saw him play in the Super 12 and the Premiership, has made just one start in four appearances since arriving at the National One in the summer.
But Williams claims his impact off the pitch has been instrumental in helping Stourbridge win five of their last six games and reach sixth place in the table.
“His involvement is absolutely fantastic,” former Moseley man Williams said. “He is talismanic in his leadership. He doesn’t shout and scream, he’s not the sort to do that, but when he opens his mouth everyone listens.
“What an opportunity for some of the young lads to work with someone of Thinus’ pedigree. He puts in the extra time with guys like Luke Cozens and you can just see what a benefit it’s having.
“And his performances on the pitch have been exemplary too, he has been a real rock and always in the right place at the right time.”
Delport’s playing involvement could increase over the next few months as his Currie Cup media commitments subside and that will keep the existing back three of Williams, Alastair Bressington and Jamie Hearn on their toes.
That strength in depth is just one of the aspects brought by Stour’s link up with Delport’s former employers at Sixways.
Another is the experience and expertise available to director of rugby Neil Mitchell. “The whole professionalism of the club has gone up this year. That comes from Thinus from a backs point of view, Tony Windo with the forwards and with Mitch getting the right people in.”