DHL Stormers Set To Travel To Pretoria With A “Mixed” Team


DHL Stormers head coach, John Dobson said during the post-match conference following their Cell C Sharks 46-19 victory, that they want to take a strong squad to Pretoria.

Dobson said that the Stormers will have a week’s break before they travel to Loftus Versfeld when the Vodacom Bulls will host the Cell C Stormers on Saturday 18 February 2023 at 17h05 (SA Time).

Dobson said that the Stormers will be monitoring flyhalf Libbok’s fitness and may opt to rest him for the derby.

“A guy like Manie, we will have to look at him. We have to bear in mind that as well as doing well as we can in these competitions, we also need to give Manie the best chance of making the Springbok team. So he will be the one player we will have a chat about in terms of that game."

"For the rest, it will be a great north-south derby. We are looking forward to it. The game against the Bulls might be a bit of a mixed team."

"Of course, it’s a local derby and we want a great rugby occasion. They are selling up a great north-south derby. We will try to be as strong as we can for that."

One of the major pleasing points for Dobson this season has been the depth that the Stormers have been able to create.

"This was illustrated in the pack’s performance against the Sharks. In the absence of Evan Roos and Bok props Steven Kitshoff and Frans Malherbe, the likes of Marcel Theunissen, as well as Neethling Fouche and Brok Harris produced fantastic performances," Dobson said.

“We won the URC last season, but our main task this season was to make sure we have something sustainable. I spoke about it before the season. We didn’t want to become a one-hit-wonder."

“The key to that, especially when we are competing in three competitions if you include the Currie Cup, was to create depth. Our mindsets have changed quite a bit. A while ago there would have been devastating with losing Evan Roos and leaving Hacjivah out of this game. But then we see what Marcel Theunissen did this afternoon. So we have created some depth.

“I think we have a little way to go in some areas. You would agree with me, watching last weekend in Belfast, that we have a bit of work to do with our backs when you see what happened after Jean-Luc du Plessis went off. In the forwards, we have some really nice depth. So I am very happy about that.”