Stormers won't win Super Rugby if their big names remain these superstars, says Dobson
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 earlier today, 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's 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). 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 City 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 their 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 Samuel's picked up early this year could prove career-threatening. His prognosis will be confirmed in February.