CONFIRMED: Fleck to be replaced as Stormers coach

    2019-03-06 06:54

    Cape Town - The Stormers have confirmed that John Dobson will take over the head coaching duties from Robbie Fleck after this year's Super Rugby competition.

    The Stormers announced the news via a press statement released on their website late on Tuesday.

    The statement said Fleck will play a crucial role in the transition and succession plans.

    Both Fleck and Dobson will work closely with Western Province Rugby Group CEO Paul Zacks and High Performance Manager Greg Hechter to build a strong playing squad for 2020 and beyond.

    The contracting of players beyond 2019 will begin once the new SA Rugby contracting model parameters have been finalised.

    "In addition to ensuring the Stormers’ success on the field, one of Dobson's key focus areas will be driving transformation in the Stormers’ future coaching and management teams," said Zacks.

    "There is a clear succession and development plan now in place and the opportunities created within the new structure will put us in a stronger position going forward, said Zacks.

    The Stormers also confirmed the departure of Director of Rugby Gert Smal to Toyota Verblitz in Japan. Smal will leave the Stormers at the end of March. His roles and responsibilities will be collectively handled by the CEO, the Senior Professional Head Coach and the High Performance Manager.

    Meanwhile, the Stormers have also confirmed their management for the 2019 season.

    Riefaat Jappie (Strength and Conditioning Coach), Norman Laker (Defence Coach), and Dawie Snyman (Assistant Coach - Backs) come into the set-up, joining head coach Fleck, Russell Winter (Assistant Coach - Forwards), Human Kriek (Technical Analyst) and Team Manager Chippie Solomon.

    Jappie has come through the system having first joined WP Rugby five years ago on an internship, while Laker and Snyman have both proven themselves over a number of seasons with Western Province and as a result have been integrated into the Stormers management this season as part of the succession planning.

    Snyman will work closely with Paul Feeney, who will still be involved with coaching the team’s skills and exits, to ensure a smooth transition once the New Zealander finishes his contract in Cape Town at the end of the current Super Rugby season.

    The re-deployment of Laker and Snyman from the 2018 SuperSport Rugby Challenge management creates an important pathway and opportunities for a new-look SuperSport Rugby Challenge coaching team.

    The experienced Jerome Paarwater has been appointed as the new Western Province Head Coach for the SuperSport Rugby Challenge and will be supported by Nazeem Adams (Assistant Coach - Backs), Rito Hlungwani (Assistant Coach - Forwards), Chris October (Defence Coach), Naasier Parker (Strength and Conditioning Coach), Elliot Hanabe (Technical Analyst) and Team Manager Cassiem Barnes.

    "The new structure provides a foundation for a motivated and wholly transformed SuperSport Rugby Challenge coaching and management team and it is great to see our home-grown coaches step up and I look forward to seeing them perform at the elite level," said Zacks.

    While both the Stormers and the Western Province SuperSport Rugby Challenge teams will have their respective management teams, there will also be certain specialist coaches available to work with both sides in order to make the most of the coaching resources within WP Rugby. Dobson (Breakdowns), Feeney (Skills and Exits), Gareth Wright (Kicking) and, on a consultative basis, Hanyani Shimange will provide specialist input to both professional teams.


    In order to supplement this and in line with international best practise, Paul Treu will provide further support by applying current and scientific knowledge to the planning and preparation of all teams in his new role of Performance and Innovation Manager.

    "This new structure means that players will get more individual attention, while we continue to support and develop our coaches to build quality, motivated and transformed coaching and playing teams for the future,” said Zacks.

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