John Dobson has explained how the DHL Stormers coaching staff will combine their responsibilities with the Western Province side in the upcoming Currie Cup.
Dobson and the rest of the Stormers coaches will take charge of Western Province this season, opting against the split squad strategy that was employed last year.
While the Vodacom United Rugby Championship is currently on a two-week break, the tournament will resume on the same weekend that Western Province travel to Durban to face the Sharks. On that same Friday, the Stormers are away in Dublin to face unbeaten Leinster in a top-of-the-table clash.
However, in a media briefing on Monday, Dobson explained why he isn’t too worried about navigating fixture clashes and why he feels it is important to keep the same coaching staff for both teams.
“That [Leinster] game is on Friday and the Currie Cup match is only on Sunday. So we will use one of the coaches that aren’t travelling to Leinster with us to work with the team during the week but we will still be able to attend the game.
“What we promised the team is that sense of belonging and I don’t think it is right to outsource them to other coaches. There are some great coaches in the system but we really want to get to know the players better and give them the exact same service levels as the URC team,” Dobson said.
“The Currie Cup is still important to the Cape.”
Last year’s Currie Cup saw a contrast of approaches from the unions that were involved in the Vodacom URC.
The Lions and Western Province both opted to have different coaches involved in the two competitions and opted to field developmental teams, while the Sharks and Bulls fielded stronger sides.
Dobson welcomed the opportunity to test some of the Stormers’ wider squad players against sides that could be filled with experienced Vodacom URC regulars.
“With what we are trying to do, if we do face a URC-based Lions team, it’s actually brilliant because some of these guys, almost all of them, have played URC for us,” Dobson said. “We want to give them more high-level rugby and at Ellis Park, it will be a great experience.
“We are genuinely excited about this campaign. That’s how we give these guys more opportunity and create the depth that we have here at Western Province.”
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