Stormers to have a 'close look' at who can perform under pressure
SPOTLIGHT: With the Currie Cup and the United Rugby Championship both on the go in January, it will be all systems go for both the Stormers and Western Province.
Early next year will mark the first time that the Stormers and Western Province play competitively at the same time, which will give just about every player in the system an opportunity to prove themselves.
Both squads will return to training this side of the year after the Christmas break, in order to hit the ground running.
Stormers coach John Dobson said in an interview on the team’s website that the players and coaching staff are determined to bounce back strongly from their disappointing defeat against the Lions earlier this month.
“That was definitely not the way we wanted to end the year,” Dobson said.
“It was obviously very challenging times with the uncertainty around the match, the last-minute disruptions to the team and the COVID-19 issues we had in the squad which meant that we could not train as we would have liked to in the week.
“Everyone is determined to get back to playing rugby the Faithful can be proud of and building on the promising signs we showed on our tour.
“We will be working very hard after the break to ensure that we are at our best when the competition starts again,” he said.
Dobson added that while it will be a serious challenge, he is looking forward to having both teams in action at the same time.
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“There are many players in our system who have lacked game time over the last two years, with only one team playing at a time.
“With both squads in full competition mode, we will be able to have a close look at how everyone is performing under pressure, which should lift the standards across the board,” he explained.
Western Province coach Jerome Paarwater said that the way the two squads work together going forward will be key.
“Every player in our squad will want to do the blue and white hoops proud in the Currie Cup, but they will also be pushing hard for an opportunity with the Stormers, so there will be no lack of motivation.
“It will be important for the two coaching teams to work together, to ensure that we are all singing off the same sheet and if players do move between teams there is a seamless transition,” he said.
With the players currently spending time with their families, they will arrive back at the High Performance Centre refreshed and ready to give their best, whether in the colours of Western Province or the Stormers.