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Dobson will have clarity over loose forward roster soon

REACTION: Stormers coach John Dobson has admitted it is a ‘challenge’ to manage the expectations of his substantial number of outstanding loose forwards.

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Media reports this week suggested Springbok reject Hacjivah Dayimani is on the radar of some ‘cash-flush French and Japanese teams.

He is one of three of the Cape Town franchise’s loose forwards who are in ‘robust talks’ to depart the Mother City.

Nama Xaba and Junior Pokomela are reportedly on the ‘wish list’ of Bulls Director of Rugby Jake White.

Dobson admitted they are having “discussions” with the trio.

“Hacjivah is under contract until 30 June 2025,” the Stormers coach told @rugby365com, when asked about Dayimani.

“The other stars referred to – Nama [Xaba] is under contract until October of this year and Junior [Pokomela] comes off contract in the middle of this year.

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“The normal discussions are in place as regards to their futures.”

Dobson said they are blessed with an ‘enormous depth’ at loose forward.

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“It’s not always easy to manage expectations in terms of game time when we are blessed with the likes of Hacjivah [Dayimani], Willie [Engelbrecht], Deon [Fourie], Keke [Morabe], Evan [Roos] and Marcel [Theunissen],” the coach told @rugby365com.

“We also have some exceptional youngsters emerging from last year’s very successful Under-21 team.”

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Apart from the loose forwards already mentioned, the Stormers have in Ben-Jason Dixon and Hendré Stassen locks that can also comfortably slot in, in the back row.

Then there is Paul de Villiers (SA Under-20) and Simon Miller (SA Schools) in the system.

“Will get clarity over the next month or so about our loose forward roster for next season,” Dobson added.

Dayimani’s position has been complicated by the fact that he was overlooked by the national selectors who attended a Springbok alignment camp in Cape Town last week.

The 26-year-old appears not to fit into Rassie Erasmus’ Springbok mould, who prefers players to get their hands dirty and not just seagull it on the wing.

In fact, Dayimani came on as a second wing ‘replacement’ for the Stormers in last Saturday’s exhibition match against Northampton Saints at Ashton Gate.

Having come through the Western Province youth system, Xaba has long been earmarked as a successor to veteran openside flank Deon Fourie, but has endured a terrible run of injuries over the past few years.

Pokomela, who joined the Stormers from the Cheetahs in 2021, has also had limited game time in a congested loose forward channel.

@king365ed
@rugby365com

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