Dob­son on Storm­ers’ su­per­stars

Pretoria News - - SPORT - WYNONA LOUW [email protected]

THE Storm­ers won’t win Su­per Rugby if their “big names” re­main these “su­per­stars”, ac­cord­ing to coach John Dob­son. Or, sim­ply put, the team can’t be strat­i­fied.

Ad­dress­ing the me­dia at their train­ing base in Bel­lville yes­ter­day, Dob­son dis­cussed the squad’s pre-sea­son ob­jec­tives and how he plans on deal­ing with the World Cup “hang­over” some of his play­ers are likely to still be feel­ing.

Not that there is any­thing wrong with drift­ing on the cloud of their mas­sive suc­cess, but Dob­son wants the team to op­er­ate as one in all as­pects as they pre­pare for the 2019 Su­per sea­son. No cliques, just one team.

The Storm­ers had eight play­ers in the Spring­boks’ World Cup-win­ning squad, and in­te­grat­ing those guys into the Storm­ers’ op­er­a­tions again will be a big fo­cus for Dob­son.

“It’s a con­cern (how the World Cup win­ners are go­ing to slot in),” he said.

“It was nice see­ing Pi­eter-Steph (du Toit) quoted as he was talk­ing about win­ning Su­per Rugby.

“We’ve worked very hard on try­ing to re­set the cul­ture here.

“They (Boks) haven’t been part of it.

“I think one of the rea­sons why the Storm­ers haven’t been suc­cess­ful in a while is be­cause we’ve al­ways sort of had a strat­i­fied team around what I think Rassie (Eras­mus) used to call the old pur­ple squad.

“Those were the re­ally big guys... the guys who came to train­ing in Range Rovers, like Bryan (Ha­bana) and them, and then you had Nic Groom com­ing and park­ing his Citi Golf.

“That was Rassie’s the­ory, and I’ve cer­tainly seen it in prac­tice since then, so our big thing when they come back is that we need to sell them on what we’re try­ing to do here and the de­strat­i­fi­ca­tion of the team.

“I don’t think we’ll win if they stay these su­per­stars. It’s a big chal­lenge for us.”

Dob­son added that all of the Storm­ers play­ers who were on the long-term in­jury list last sea­son will be ready come Fe­bru­ary 1, with hooker Ra­mone Sa­muels the only con­cern.

Dob­son ex­plained that the an­kle in­jury Sa­muels picked up early this year could prove ca­reer-threat­en­ing. His prog­no­sis will be con­firmed in Fe­bru­ary.

John Dob­son

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