Wed 21 Apr 2021 | 08:49

Stormers Rebuild: 'Vision 2023/24' activated

Stormers presser ahead of Rainbow Cup opener
Wed 21 Apr 2021 | 08:49
Stormers Rebuild: 'Vision 2023/24' activated
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VIDEO: Just a couple of months ago, there was a cloud of uncertainty surrounding the Stormers.

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However, it seems like the appointment of Ebrahim Rasool as Chairman of Western Province Professional Rugby (Pty) Ltd has been accompanied by a sense of stability, in terms of the squad.

In recent weeks, the Stormers secured the signatures of key players such as Damian Willemse, Scarra Ntubeni, Frans Malherbe, Seabelo Senatla, Neethling Fouche, Sazi Sandi, Leon Lyons, Nama Xaba, Kwenzo Blose and Evan Roos.

While on Monday captain Steven Kitshoff signed a three-year contract and vice-captain Salmaan Moerat also completed a contract extension.

Moerat is one of a number of players who are still under contract with WPPR until at least 2022, along with the likes of Herschel Jantjies, Warrick Gelant, Ruhan Nel, Sergeal Petersen, Marcel Theunissen, David Meihuizen and Rikus Pretorius.

There is still uncertainty surrounding World Cup winners Bongi Mbonambi and Pieter-Steph du Toit, who are both under contract with the Stormers until October.

Nonetheless, Rasool is confident that the franchise will do everything in their power to keep the duo in the Cape beyond October as they build towards the three-year plan.

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“A month ago the Stormers coach [John Dobson] and I had a discussion on how to plan for the future and we emerged from that discussion with – Vision 2023/24,” Rasool told reporters on Tuesday.

“We made a deal and told the coach; ‘you get the players you want to and we will budget for the vision 2023/24’.

“However in return, we want to win the Currie Cup trophy during this period; we want to be in play-offs of the expanded Pro16 and we were so ambitious to say that we want 50 to 60 percent of the Springboks squad that goes to France in 2023 from this region.”

Rasool added: “With this plan in mind, we want the coach to be part of this vision and most importantly we want the captain [Kitshoff] and vice-captain [Moerat] in place.

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“We gave the coach not a licence to lose, but a licence to experiment and adjust the game plan so we can play traditional Western Province Rugby.”

When asked about player retention, Dobson said: “It has been a tough year, but the last few months under Rasool as Chairman we have had tremendous support which gave us the ability to retain our experienced players and some youngsters.

“I think we don’t want to go through [ transfer] stresses and speculations every year and we want to keep this squad for the next three to four years.

“Obviously there will be injuries and the odd youngster joining us but we are determined to complete the squad.”

The coach also revealed that there are some international stars who are keen to join the Stormers.

“We get players from the across the world, some returning and some not, who want to join the franchise.

“For the first time in a long time, CVs are coming to us.”

He added: “While we were training, three CVs – two of which were international – came to us.”

One player who has been reportedly ‘in advance talks’ with Stormers is Juan de Jongh.

Netwerk24 reported that that the 33-year-old is expected to sign a two-year deal with the WP Rugby and will join the team in July, ahead of the Pro16 campaign.

@leezil07
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Stormers Rebuild: 'Vision 2023/24' activated | Rugby365