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Stormers 'need more players to compete' on all fronts

REACTION: Stormers head coach John Dobson is hoping he will have a “meaner and bigger” squad next season with a private equity deal and an adjustment to the salary cap on the cards.

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Despite falling short in the United Rugby Championship Final, the Stormers enjoyed another successful season which saw three play-off games being played at Cape Town Stadium.

They won the South African Shield again and they finished third in the overall standings.

Dobson’s team also managed to reach the last eight of the Champions Cup and they secured their spot in next year’s edition as well.

However, if the Stormers are to be competitive on all fronts, they are going to need some more top-class talent in their squad.

“I think we are a little way off that,” said Dobson.

“If we had to go play La Rochelle in a [Champions Cup] semifinal and come back to play a URC quarterfinal, I’m sure we wouldn’t be here [in the URC Final].

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“It sounds like there are going to be adjustments to the [salary] cap.

“We need bigger and meaner squads.

“Our depth at the moment is the guys that are doing nicely in the Currie Cup.

“They are promising youngsters, but that is not going to solve the Champions Cup problem. Not for a while.

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“You almost need to have this model where, let’s say hypothetically, we got a big European Cup game away and [Steven] Kitshoff, Frans [Malherbe] and Joseph [Dweba] would go to that and we have a front row sitting in Cape Town prepping for that next URC game.

“If we went to Exeter, we should have a team back here good enough to beat Munster.”

Dobson believes a change is imminent in terms of the problem around depth.

“In our case, it is going to come over the next year.

“We are going to do an equity deal and then we will invest in the sharper end of the squad.

“Our younger structures and the pathways here are absolutely brilliant.

“We probably need a few more players to compete and that requires an adjustment to the cap and investment into Western Province Rugby.”

@rugby365com

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