Stormers' structures in place

2010-01-12 22:34

Stephen Nell

Cape Town – Western Province have concluded new contracts with Rassie Erasmus and Allister Coetzee, tying them down to key positions in Cape rugby until the end of 2012.

Rob Wagner, managing director of WP Rugby (Pty) Ltd, confirmed the news to Sport24 on Tuesday and also expressed his optimism about the Stormers’ prospects for this year’s Super14.

“There are three reasons why I’m confident about the new season. The first is the rugby institute that has been established at Stellenbosch, the second is the High Performance Centre in Bellville, and the third is team management and players,” said Wagner.

“We are now entering the third year with this management (Erasmus and Coetzee). The extension of their contracts will help establish confidence among the players.”

Coetzee has been contracted as head coach, while Erasmus will be responsible for everything that is rugby at WP as senior professional coach.

“It’s important to think creatively and outside the box. An example of this is Rassie’s recognition of Allister as coach and his ability to get the best out of players,” said Wagner.

“Allister has coached at World Cup level and Rassie felt he could be used as head coach.

“Rassie is keeping an overall eye on the institute, high performance centre and rugby culture in the province, but continues to don a tracksuit and coach.

“It’s an innovative step in the right direction because Rassie is maximising the strengths of the coaching team. And Allister is definitely a strength.”

Wagner also believes the Stormers are on the verge of reaping the benefits of hard work on their structures.

“In the past we used different training fields. The fact that there is now a centrally-controlled training facility in Bellville will help establish stability and confidence,” he said.

“With the institute we also have a base where young players can be identified and develop under the guidance of Steph Nel and Jacques Hanekom.”

Province’s new Springbok centre Juan de Jongh is an example of the young talent coming through the ranks.

“All the facilities have now been established to attain success as a professional team,” said Wagner.

“I have to credit Tobie Titus (Western Province Rugby Union president) and Pat Kuhn (chairperson of WP Rugby Pty Ltd) that the high performance centre and institute were established under their leadership.”

The Stormers struggled with their attacking options in 2009, but that should no longer be the case following the acquisition of Jaque Fourie and Bryan Habana.

Wagner likened their arrival to that of Dick Muir and James Small in 1997.

“Like Dick and James you should not view them in isolation, but they bring heaps of experience and have won competitions at the highest level. They will give the team an injection of confidence,” said Wagner.

“We now have players of the calibre of Habana, Fourie, Schalk Burger, Ricky Januarie, Conrad Jantjes and Andries Bekker. They all still have good playing years ahead of them.

“Our forwards were previously viewed as a weakness, but this team has been built over a few years and we can see how players such as Brock Harris, Andries Bekker, Francois Louw and Wicus Blaauw are coming into their own.”


  • Tommygun - 2010-01-13 01:20

    We all know how effective Coetzee was with the Boks as a backline coach, so much so Jake had to bring in an Aussie to give them structure. I have high expectations for this Stormers outfit, but only if Rassie is right in the trenches with them.

  • Dereck Uys - 2010-01-13 06:38

    structure....?? wow please people lets all light our candles as WP/Stormers choke again this year with their over rated coaches.....

  • Staaldraad - 2010-01-13 08:08

    Wagner & Co; us fans have now waited long enough for the Stormers to perform. Bottom line: Stop talking and start winning.

  • WP Mal !! - 2010-01-13 08:16

    Finally the tables have turned. I can't wait to see the Stormers (and later on WP) play the good old running rugby that they use to. GO WP, JOU LEKKA DING !!!!

  • Talk...Talk....Talk - 2010-01-13 09:06

    I think that Rob Wagner is a media "spin doctor". We have heard the same story from him for years now.... . WP need to start delivering week in and week out or there need to be some changes- starting with the Administrators who appoint the coaches and gloat about setting up structures. For SA Rugby's sake i hope that the Stormers can be competitive this year in the S14!!

  • Bulla - 2010-01-13 09:39 Rassie is going to buy "mercenaries" until 2012... ..maybe they will win some cups by that time...... ...maybe not...

  • dwayne - 2010-01-13 09:43

    I feel that this year we will be a very strong squad and its time our boys show the rest of the s14 teams who we are and what we can do but i will still support wp through a win or a loss but this year is our year go stormers

  • Cliff Bradley - 2010-01-13 10:06

    Bulla - you clown - At least he does not use Drug Addits and then make excuses for them. Rather worry about the AN changing your blou bulle to multi coloured koeie

  • Riccardo - 2010-01-13 10:30

    I agree with Staaldraad and Talk...Talk....Talk. This has been the typical pre-season garbage that keeps on coming out of the Stormers/WP camp. Now we need to see if history will repeat itself and if they will fall short once again. But Lets hope this year is different and that they actually do make a challenge...As a South African rugby supporter, I would love to see the Bulls, Sharks and Stormers fighting for a top 4 place in the super 14. When that happened, hopefully my dear Lions team and the Cheetahs can do the same.

  • Koos - 2010-01-13 10:48

    Die Stormers kan vir Morne Steyn en Fourie ook in die Kaap kry dan gaan hulle nog steeds net vrot snoek koppe wen,SHAME!!!!!!!!!

  • Joe - 2010-01-13 11:12

    IMO management top heavy. One of Rassie or Wagner must go. Proudfoot has toughened up some of the softies So letes see what Coetzee can do

  • Marthinus - 2010-01-13 11:49

    I am confident that the skeptics of WP/Stormers Rugby will be shut up this season. The 2009 Currie Cup was a clear indicator of in which direction the WP is heading. There is a very good combination of experience and youth in the team at the moment. Sure, the team has underperformed in recent years, but form tends to be cyclical. And the WP/Stormers are on the way up. My prediction is at least a semi-final spot in the Super14 this year. Watch out for Francois Louw, Juan de Jongh, Joe Pietersen and Gio Aplon this season.

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