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Stormers give Dweba 'space' as rumour mill goes into overdrive

REACTION: A changed status and rumours abound, but the Stormers are willing to give Springbok hooker Joseph Dweba space to make a call on his future.

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Dweba, 28, has been at the centre of much speculation since it became public knowledge that he has dropped out of the top three on the Springbok pecking order for hookers.

Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus revealed the dramatic change in the pecking order amongst the No.2s in the national team at a media briefing last week.

Bulls hookers Johan Grobbelaar and Jan-Hendrik Wessels moved past Dweba – behind World Cup winners Malcolm Marx and Bongi Mbonambi – into the squad for the two-Test series against Ireland.

Dweba, a back-up for the World Cup squad last year, remained in the list of ‘standby’ players.

It sparked renewed scuttlebutting about the future of the six-times capped Dweba.

Media reports had linked him to Premiership side Sale Sharks, a popular destination for Springboks and other South African players.

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However, weekend media reports suggested Dweba has declined an increased offer from the Sharks and renewed interest by French clubs.

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It was sparked by Dweba’s decision to update his WhatsApp status: “I’m here to stay.”

The update was accompanied by three wink emojis.

Stormers Director of Rugby John Dobson admitted they are willing to let Dweba go.

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However, he also suggested the Bok will remain in Cape Town.

“Joe has a contract with the Stormers till the end of June 2025, which I’m sure he will see out,” Dobson told @rugby365com.

“We are very happy with his progress this season, which has brought him back into the Springbok mix.”

However, Dobson made it clear they will not stand in Dweba’s way if the right offer comes along.

“As has been the case in the past, if a player gets a life-changing opportunity for him and his family, we are open to discuss if it can be worked out,” Dobson said.

“We want the very best for our players and their futures.”

Dweba made 20 appearances for the Stormers this past season, but has fallen out of the top three in the Springbok selection order.

According to media reports, Dweba also lost his status as a ‘Player of National Interest’, meaning the Stormers no longer receive a top-up contribution from the South African Rugby Union to supplement the player’s salary.

Dweba began his professional career with the Cheetahs, making his debut in the Currie Cup in 2016 and made over 40 appearances.

In 2020, Dweba moved to France to join Bordeaux B├Ęgles in the Top 14. He played for Bordeaux for two seasons, making 24 appearances.

In 2022, Dweba returned to South Africa to join the Stormers in the United Rugby Championship, although the move home hasn’t worked in terms of his ascension in Rassie Erasmus’ Springboks selection hierarchy.

@king365ed
@rugby365com

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