Dobson Stormers team celebrates Photo Stormers

John Dobson’s Stormers team in a huddle. Photo: Stormers/Twitter

Stormers succeed in pursuit of ONE backline star

The Stormers have succeeded in luring one Springbok back to Cape Town as they look to bolster their back three for next season.

Dobson Stormers team celebrates Photo Stormers

John Dobson’s Stormers team in a huddle. Photo: Stormers/Twitter

The Stormers finished as runners-up in the United Rugby Championship this year, and although it was another successful campaign, they will be desperate to make some astute recruitments ahead of next season in order to ensure they can once again compete for the URC crown.

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Coach John Dobson has said there is a definite need to especially strengthen the team’s back three department.

“We definitely need to strengthen in the outside backs. With [Seabelo] Senatla’s serious injury, we are paper thin in the back three. We are scrambling for two proper game-breaking backs.” 

As it turns out, WP Rugby have apparently moved quickly to secure the services of former fullback Warrick Gelant, who joined French club Racing after starring in the 2021-22 United Rugby Championship title-winning campaign.

According to Sunday newspaper Rapport, Racing won’t block his move back to the Stormers, even though he still has one year left on his contract.

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It’s believed that Willie le Roux could be on the team’s recruitment radar, while La Rochelle’s Dillyn Leyds has also been linked to the Cape franchise, but Cheslin Kolbe – who is leaving Toulon – definitely won’t be heading to the Cape franchise.

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Dobson said that a reported increase in the salary cap for South African franchises, as well as a private equity deal for Western Province Rugby, would be crucial for future success.

“The salary caps are now going to be increased and we need bigger and stronger groups,” said Dobson. “We have talented young players emerging in the Currie Cup, but this doesn’t provide an immediate solution to the problem with the Champions Cup.

“If you hypothetically have to play a Champions Cup game away from home with a front row of Steven Kitshoff, Joseph Dweba and Frans Malherbe, you have to have a front row in Cape Town preparing for the next URC game. If we go to Exeter, for example, there must still be a team in the Cape that is good enough to beat Munster.

“In our case it will come in the next year. We are going to do an equity transaction and the investment in players will have to be in the senior part of the group,” added Dobson. Our youth structures and feeding resources are excellent, but we may just need a few more players to be able to compete.

“For that, the salary limits will have to be increased and there must be an investment in the WP. Don’t forget that we did what we have achieved now under administration. If you are under administration, you work within the framework of austerity.”


Stormers players after losing the final
Stormers players Steven Kitshoff, Ruben van Heerden and Deon Fourie after losing the final. Photo: Stormers.