Province to go on BIG recruitment drive
The Stormers team that will face Benetton in Treviso in the opening round of the United Rugby Championship on September 25 will be a far cry from the side that features in the Currie Cup semifinal against the Bulls in Pretoria on Friday.
Western Province coach John Dobson, fronting up to the media after naming his team for the trip to Loftus Versfeld, admitted there is an ongoing recruitment drive.
Loathe to reveal names on the eve of the play-offs of South Africa’s premier domestic competition, Dobson said announcements about new recruits will be done soon.
The question about boosting the playing roster followed the announcement of star lock John Schickerling to Japan.
Japanese Top League side Steelers confirmed Schickerling’s signing in a midweek media release.
With several locks on the injury list and Marvin Orie on Springbok duty, WP will again feature two flanks in the second row this week.
Dobson said there would “definitely” be some new recruits in the next three weeks.
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“We have got some good plans,” he said about the recruitment drive.
“I am not going to go into them, that is the job of the media manager.
“We want to finish the cycle of this tournament,” he said of the Currie Cup play-offs.
“I think you will see maybe northwards of five guys coming in between now and the start of the United Rugby Championship.
“We have been working on them for a while.”
Dobson reiterated earlier statements that one of their areas of focus was to use the Currie Cup as a ‘development phase’ for young players.
“We took a relatively brave view on this [Currie Cup] competition,” the coach said, adding: “Which was to give some youngsters as much of a chance as we could and not get any of those signings in for the Currie Cup.
“Also, some of them weren’t available, to be honest.
“Let’s take – for example – Marcel Theunissen or Sazi Sandi.
“If we had got our replacements [new recruits] in now, they wouldn’t have the experience that they are going to have tomorrow [Friday] evening [in the Currie Cup semifinal].
“So, this is not the team that will be starting in the URC.”
Some of the recruitments during the Currie Cup season have already made an impact.
Players such as Hacjivah Dayimani (from the Lions), Juan de Jongh (Wasps in England) and Deon Fourie (Grenoble in France) have added huge value.