VIDEO: Why John Dobson will coach the WP Currie Cup team
South Africa’s franchise head coaches will be a lot more intimately involved in the Currie Cup in 2023.
The desperate need for managing the limited player resources means that the likes of John Dobson and Jake White will be a lot more ‘hands-on’ in next year’s Currie Cup.
This past year the four main franchises – Stormers, Bulls, Sharks and Lions – split their coaching panels between the United Rugby Championship and the Currie Cup.
Stormers coach John Dobson focused on winning the URC – with Jerome Paarwater taking charge of the Currie Cup team, with assistance from Lucas Floors and Nazeem Adams.
The Bulls’ Director of Rugby Jake White took the team to the URC Final – with Gert Smal in charge of the Currie Cup team, with assistance from Pine Pienaar, Hayden Groepes and Edgar Marutlulle.
The Sharks URC team was coached by Sean Everitt, who has been sacked halfway through the current season – with Etienne Fynn in charge of the Currie Cup coaching panel, with JP Pietersen, Warren Whiteley, Phiwe Nomlomo, John McFarland and Aksventi Giorgadze as his assistants.
Ivan van Rooyen took charge of the Lions’ URC team – with Mziwakhe Nkosi as their head coach of this year’s Currie Cup campaign. He was assisted by Wessel Roux, Philip Lemmer and Wynand Ellis.
Of those four franchises, only the Bulls made the Currie Cup play-offs.
Dobson confirmed he will also be in charge of the team for the domestic competition in 2023.
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“We have to manage the squad,” he said, adding: “It is the same squad.
“We are really making plans for the Currie Cup.
“It is our responsibility.”
He used players like Alistar Vermaak, Leon Lyons and Kwenzo Blose as examples of squad members who are not getting much game time in the URC and Champions Cup, and who they should manage.
“It makes for a longer season, but I think it is the right thing for us to do,” Dobson added.
The Bulls’ Director of Rugby, White, before Dobson’s declaration, assumed that Dobson will not be involved with the WP Currie Cup team – as was the case last year.
“I am the Director of Rugby,” White said, adding: “I have to ensure all the juniors, seniors and Currie Cup guys are available to play.
“If I was only coaching the senior side [Euro Cup and URC], then I would not worry about who is available for the Currie Cup.
“It is important for people to understand my brief as Director of Rugby is to ensure the juniors, Under-19 and Under-20 teams, and the Currie Cup performs.
“Province did not make the Currie Cup play-offs last year.
“Those are the decisions I have to make.
“There are 32 games left,” White said, adding that the Currie Cup fixtures are “incredible”.
“They are going to play Wednesday, Saturday, Wednesday, Saturday, Wednesday, Saturday.
“It is a big ask, considering the Springboks are going to be unavailable – withdrawn for World Cup camps.
“We are going to have to box very clever about which team we are going to use and how many players we are going to us.”