John Dobson says increasing the salary cap and securing a private equity deal are key to the DHL Stormers strengthening their squad and remaining competitive in the European competitions.
The Stormers finished as Vodacom URC silver medalists on Saturday, after claiming the title on their first attempt in the 2021-22 season.
To go with that, the Cape side also progressed to the quarter-finals of the Champions Cup, where they were beaten by Exeter Chiefs at Sandy Park.
Speaking after Saturday’s Vodacom URC final against Munster, Dobson pointed out that the Stormers would, in all likelihood, not have progressed as far if they had to travel to play a potential Champions Cup semi-final.
Dobson said that a reported increase in the salary cap for South African franchises, as well as a private equity deal for Western Province Rugby, will allow the Stormers to strengthen their squad and build on their incredible achievements over the past two seasons.
“The salary caps are now going to be increased and we need bigger and stronger groups,” said Dobson. “We have talented young players emerging in the Currie Cup, but this doesn’t provide an immediate solution to the problem with the Champions Cup.
“If you hypothetically have to play a Champions Cup game away from home with a front row of Steven Kitshoff, Joseph Dweba and Frans Malherbe, you have to have a front row in Cape Town preparing for the next URC game. If we go to Exeter, for example, there must still be a team in the Cape that is good enough to beat Munster.
“In our case it will come in the next year. We are going to do an equity transaction and the investment in players will have to be in the senior part of the group,” added Dobson.
“Our youth structures and feeding resources are excellent, but we may just need a few more players to be able to compete.
“For that, the salary limits will have to be increased and there must be an investment in the WP. Don’t forget that we did what we have achieved now under administration. If you are under administration, you work within the framework of austerity.”