Dobson Stormers team celebrates Photo Stormers

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

Stormers coach: We are ‘scrambling’ for TWO key backs

The Stormers have identified where they have to bolster their squad ahead of next season after a runners-up finish in the URC.

Dobson Stormers team celebrates Photo Stormers

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

This past weekend, Munster broke Stormers hearts after scoring a late try to deny the hosts another URC title thanks to a narrow 19-14 victory.

The Stormers will now be bidding farewell to Ernst van Rhyn and captain Steven Kitshoff, while 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.” 

“We [Western Province Rugby Union] actually need the equity deal because we are in administration. My feeling is things are going to have to move very quickly otherwise we could miss them [new signings] next season.”

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It’s believed that Willie le Roux could be on the team’s recruitment radar, but Cheslin Kolbe – who is leaving Toulon – definitely won’t be heading to the Cape franchise.

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The Stormers have already begun planning for next season

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.