Treu and Dobson's new roles revealed
NEWS: With a clear focus on meeting and exceeding its transformation objectives, Western Province Rugby has revised its coaching and team management structures.
John Dobson has been appointed as the Stormers head coach from next season.
At the same time, Paul Treu will have a new role as Performance and Innovation Manager.
In a statement, WP Rugby said these revisions will ensure that the union will make the best “strategic” use of their coaching resources, while simultaneously establishing a clear succession plan in developing its coaching talent for the future.
“The simple objective of the revised structures is to ensure that we utilise our current resources in the most optimal way, developing and securing world-class coaching talent that aligns with our transformation goals,” said Western Province Rugby Group CEO Paul Zacks.
With Director of Rugby Gert Smal set to leave at the end of March in order to take up a new opportunity with Jake White’s Verblitz team in Japan, his roles and responsibilities will be collectively handled by the CEO, the head coach and the High-Performance Manager.
The changes to the Stormers management in 2019 have seen Riefaat Jappie (Strength and Conditioning Coach), Norman Laker (Defence Coach), and Dawie Snyman (Assistant Coach – Backs) come into the set-up.
They have joined head coach Robbie Fleck, Russell Winter (assistant coach – forwards), Human Kriek (technical analyst) and team manager Chippie Solomon in the Stormers management for the 2019 Super Rugby campaign.
Jappie has come through the system having first joined WP Rugby five years ago on an internship, while Laker and Snyman have both proven themselves over a number of seasons with Western Province and as a result have been integrated into the Stormers management this season as part of the succession planning.
Snyman will work closely with Paul Feeney, who will still be involved with coaching the team’s skills and exits, to ensure a smooth transition once the New Zealander finishes his contract in Cape Town at the end of the current Super Rugby season.
The re-deployment of Laker and Snyman from the 2018 Challenge Cup management creates an important pathway and opportunities for a new-look Challenge Cup coaching team.
The experienced Jerome Paarwater has been appointed as the new Western Province head coach for the Challenge Cup and will be supported by Nazeem Adams (assistant coach – backs), Rito Hlungwani (assistant coach – forwards), Chris October (defence coach), Naasier Parker (strength and conditioning coach), Elliot Hanabe (technical analyst) and team manager Cassiem Barnes.
Dobson will take over from Fleck next year, with the latter set to play a crucial role in the transition and succession plans.
Both Fleck and Dobson will work closely with Western Province Rugby Group CEO Paul Zacks and High-Performance Manager Greg Hechter to build a strong playing squad for 2020 and beyond.
The contracting of players beyond 2019 will begin once the new SARU contracting model parameters have been finalised.
Treu’s redeployment as Performance and Innovation Manager is in line with “international best practise”.
- Article continues below video …
“The new structure provides a foundation for a motivated and wholly transformed Challenge Cup coaching and management team and it is great to see our home-grown coaches step up and I look forward to seeing them perform at the elite level,” said Zacks.
While both the Stormers and the Western Province Challenge Cup teams will have their respective management teams, there will also be certain specialist coaches available to work with both sides in order to make the most of the coaching resources within WP Rugby.
Dobson (Breakdowns), Feeney (Skills and Exits), Gareth Wright (Kicking) and, on a consultative basis, Hanyani Shimange will provide specialist input to both professional teams.
“This new structure means that players will get more individual attention, while we continue to support and develop our coaches to build quality, motivated and transformed coaching and playing teams for the future,” said Zacks.
“In addition to ensuring the Stormers’ success on the field, one of Dobson’s key focus areas will be driving transformation in the Stormers’ future coaching and management teams.
“There is a clear succession and development plan now in place and the opportunities created within the new structure will put us in a stronger position going forward,” said Zacks.
Zacks thanked Smal for his invaluable contributions to Western Province Rugby through the years.
“It has been an absolute privilege to work with Gert Smal who has played such a big role here at WP both on and off the field for many years and he leaves with our very best wishes for his future,” he said.
Smal commented: “I would like to say thank you to the CEO and the Board for entrusting me over the years as Director of Rugby at Western Province. The decision to leave was not taken lightly. I wish only the best to all the coaches, the players and all the employees at WP and hope and trust that the franchise will go from strength to strength.”
Zacks said that this new structure is the result of a positive and constructive working relationship between the WPRFU Executive Committee (Exco) and the Company Board.
“We are all excited about the possibilities for the future. This could not have been achieved without the spirit of co-operation that has been shown off the field between the Exco and the Board,” he added.