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VIDEO: Revealed - Why a name change was needed

The stigma of years of bad management made it obligatory for new equity partner Red Disa to implement a name change that makes a clear distinction between the professional and amateur arms of the Western Province Rugby Football Union.


The Red Disa Consortium last month concluded its equity deal to secure a controlling shareholding in Western Province Professional Rugby (Pty) Ltd.

Following a majority vote in favour of the deal by the clubs that constitute the Western Province Rugby Football Union General Council in August and approval by the South African Competition Commission in December, the equity deal for 74 percent shareholding in WPPR was concluded.

However, in his first formal media briefing, new CEO Johan le Roux revealed that the professional arm will be renamed Stormers Rugby (Pty) Ltd.

The name change of the company does not impact the names of the professional teams – Stormers in international competitions like the United Rugby Championship and Champions Cup, and Western Province for domestic competitions like the Currie Cup.

He also pointed out that ‘winning’ is key to the franchise being financially stable.

“Our board member [from Ireland] Mick Dawson, former Leinster CEO, often says: ‘The most important man in the organisation is the man next to me [Director of Rugby John Dobson] and not the CEO’.


“His promotion to Director of Rugby underlines this,” he said, adding that Dobson forged the Stormers into a team to be reckoned with.

Turning to the name change, Le Roux said the reasons are twofold.

(WATCH as new Stormers CEO Johan le Roux explains the reasoning behind the name change of the professional arm of the franchise – from Western Province Professional Rugby to Stormers Rugby….)

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“It is to closer align our company’s corporate profile with that of our top team, from which we derive all our revenue,” the CEO said.

“It also allows for an easier differentiation between a professional entity [Stormers] and the entity responsible for amateur rugby, WPRFU.


“We found that the similarity in names [WPPR & WPRFU] leads to confusion – not just through their identity, but also their roles in the game.

“We believe a simple name change will take the first step towards helping both – the professional and community entities – establish their own unique identity to the benefit of both.

“The company name change will not affect the names of any of the teams that compete on the field.”


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