Stormers coach John Dobson says it’s important that they keep their players rugby-ready in a responsible way in the midst of the coronavirus situation. Photo: BackpagePix
Stormers coach John Dobson says it’s important that they keep their players rugby-ready in a responsible way in the midst of the coronavirus situation. Photo: BackpagePix

It’s important players are rugby-ready in a responsible way, says Dobson

By Wynona Louw Time of article published Mar 18, 2020

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Stormers coach John Dobson says it’s important that they keep their players rugby-ready in a responsible way in the midst of the coronavirus situation.

At the weekend, Sanzaar announced that Super Rugby would be called off for the foreseeable future following the completion of this past weekend’s fixtures due to the virus outbreak.

Following their 24-14 loss to the Sharks, Dobson spoke openly about the ramifications the suspension of the competition could have on the game and the livelihood of so many people.

But yesterday he explained that a lot has changed since he made those comments.

“There are a couple of things I want to cover, obviously the virus being front of mind,” Dobson said.

“Some of the comments I made on the weekend after the game I was really disappointed that it was published two or three days later because this is moving so fast.

“When we had the post-match press conference we hadn’t even seen the Sanzaar release. For the rugby economy, of course one was keen to play, and obviously I am deeply respectful of what the president said on Sunday night, the Sanzaar guidelines and the consequences on society, and I am much more aware now of the damage this is going to do to our rugby economy and society.

“At that stage we didn’t realise how bad it was. All of that was overtaken by the recent events.”

Dobson and Stormers team doctor Jason Suter went on to discuss how they are managing the situation with rugby having been called off for the near future.

“These guys (the players) need to stay conditioned, it would be irresponsible not to,” Suter said.

“The safest gym would be our gym, we can manage hygiene here properly.

“There will be no team training or team meetings whatsoever, but the guys can do individual work. So no team training, but they will still be working.

“Sanzaar and Saru have provided us with stringent guidelines around social distancing.

“With rugby being a contact sport, it’s very difficult to train with any form of social distancing, so there won’t be any team training, as Dobbo (Dobson) said.

“However, the HPC (High Performance Centre) is probably safer than any other environment in terms of training.

“We’ve banned any individual gym work at a Virgin Active, etcetera, because it’s a fluid situation with no control of social distancing.

“We’ve changed all our gym and training guidelines to be cognisant of what is potentially contagious, but also to self-monitor the Sanzaar guidelines.

“There will be daily temperature checks and daily symptom checks and there will be management of any of those checks should it become positive, which allows us to self-isolate.

“In this way we can train in small groups and control social distancing.”

@WynonaLouw 


Cape Times

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