Head coach John Dobson says the Stormers are still very active on the recruitment front and plan to bring in at least five new faces for their inaugural United Rugby Championship campaign.
The Stormers have been fairly active in preparation for the first URC season, bringing in loose forward Hacjivah Dayimani from the Lions, while also recruiting a couple of experienced heads in returning veterans Juan de Jongh and Deon Fourie.
However, there is still the feeling that the squad lack a bit of depth at flyhalf, especially after bidding Italy-bound Abner van Reenen farewell, while Kade Wolhuter continues his recovery from a long-term knee injury.
JD Schickerling has also moved to Japan, leaving the Stormers a bit thin at lock, with Marvin Orie currently with the Springboks and only due back in December, while Salmaan Moerat is still battling a neck injury.
The Stormers have been linked with a move for current Sharks playmaker Manie Libbok to help boost their depth at flyhalf, as well as Cheetahs duo Rosko Specman and Junior Pokomela.
During an online media conference on Thursday, Dobson was asked whether there would be any new faces arriving in the Western Cape between now and their opening URC match against Benetton in a couple of weeks’ time.
“Definitely,” Dobson answered. “We have got some good plans. I am not going to go into them. We want to finish the cycle of this tournament.
“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 explained that other than some of their targets not being available, the reason for their perceived lack of activity in bringing in new players was that they wanted to give some of their youngsters a proper opportunity to prove themselves and get game time during the current Currie Cup campaign.
“We took a relatively brave view on this competition, 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 because they weren’t available, to be honest,” Dobson said.
“Let’s take a Marcel Theunissen or Sazi Sandi. If we had got our replacements in now, they wouldn’t have the experience that they are going to have tomorrow evening [in the Currie Cup semi-final against the Bulls on Friday].
“So, this is not the team that will be starting in the URC.”
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