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    Dobson: Stormers need full 'pre-season' if rugby resumes

    2020-05-14 08:28

    Stormers coach John Dobson has warned his charges would need a full "pre-season" before a return to action.

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    Rugby has been suspended since mid-March due to the coronavirus pandemic and the Stormers mentor said the longer than expected break posed a practical problem in terms of conditioning.

    "When we started this lockdown, we were looking at three weeks and then getting back to work. There was a formula of two to one, so if you were off for two weeks it would take one to get you ready to play again, and now I think that has been dramatically extended. We've now had a full off-season, so we'll need a full pre-season," Dobson told reporters in a virtual meeting earlier this week.

    "We were keeping the players on a short readiness, now we're pulling them right back to look at more muscular-skeletal and long-term strength. We can speculate as much as we like, but with the length of the whole thing and the prognosis in South Africa, we're going to have to have a full pre-season before we're physically ready to play again."

    New Zealand earlier this week announced they would return to rugby on June 13 with their own domestic event called Super Rugby Aotearoa, while there are talks of a similar competition in Australia.

    With South Africa still in lockdown level 4 it remains unclear when rugby in the country will be allowed to resume and Dobson said playing a local Super Rugby event as well as the Currie Cup later in the year could prove problematic.

    "There was a strong argument that we'd have to play Super Rugby because of the commercial rights around that, but the way we're going, it's hard to see us starting before, I think, even July. Then we'd still have to squeeze a Currie Cup in? I think it's looking more like it's going to be a big Currie Cup going late in the year," Dobson concluded.

    - Compiled by Sport24 staff

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