Stormers slam 'irresponsible' media over 'infighting' claims
REACTION: Western Province Rugby Group CEO Paul Zacks has slammed ‘irresponsible’ members of the media for their ‘inaccurate and misleading’ reports.
Zacks, in a strongly-worded media release, said there is no truth to recent media reports of infighting in the Stormers camp.
Some reports have claimed that Stormers head coach Robbie Fleck and his successor John Dobson does not see eye to eye.
There were also reports that Dobson made it a condition that Paul Treu – redeployed as Performance and Innovation Manager earlier this week – is not involved in the Stormers set-up.
These claims caused considerable disquiet at Newlands.
* Also read: Treu and Dobson’s new roles revealed
Zacks dismissed the reports in the strongest terms saying that, contrary to inaccurate and misleading reports in the media, Fleck and Dobson have been working closely together for the good of the franchise over the past few months.
“Robbie Fleck is in his fourth season as Stormers Head Coach this year and I am very excited to see what he and his new management team can produce.
“Both Robbie and John Dobson have bought into this succession plan; which they have known about for some six months now,” he said.
Zacks also moved to dispel ‘irresponsible’ reports that suggest there is an issue between Dobson and Paul Treu.
“It is unfortunate that elements in the media see fit to be divisive with allegations such as these,” the CEO said.
“There is a good relationship between Dobbo and Paul and I am excited about the new structures we have put in place.
“We are all committed to working together for the greater good, and to the benefit, of Western Province Rugby and will continue to do so – irrespective of negative and malicious media reports,” he added.
* Continue reading below …
The media release said the Stormers management have been given the best chance to make a smooth transition this season through a well-planned and carefully integrated succession plan.
Fleck has been working with his reshuffled management team since early November 2018, with the likes of Riefaat Jappie (Strength and Conditioning), Norman Laker (Defence Coach) and Dawie Snyman (Assistant Coach – Backs) included in the set-up for the first time, bringing fresh ideas and energy to the group.
With Dobson confirmed as Stormers head coach from next season, he is currently offering specialist coaching on breakdowns to both professional teams at Western Province Rugby.
Fleck has been collaborating with Dobson in his planning for the future.
“The 2019 Super Rugby campaign will see the two work closely in order to ensure that the Stormers deliver both this season and in the future,” the media release said.
Fleck said that he will continue to do everything in his power to ensure that the Stormers achieve the best results possible.
“After four years in the role, it was always my intention to vacate the head coach position at the end of this season. This was planned months ago and I am looking forward to supporting John going forward.
“We have worked very hard over the past few years putting together this group of quality players and thus are very excited about what we can achieve as a squad and a management team this season. At the same time, it is also stimulating for me to work with John and help prepare him for what we all know will be a major challenge,” he said.
Dobson said that he is excited about the collective effort that will go into ensuring that the Stormers reach their potential, both this season and beyond.
“It is fantastic that we are all on the same page about what we want to achieve both this season and beyond and I am grateful to Robbie for helping make the transition a smooth one,” he said.