The support from the board and the shareholder in keeping Pieter-Steph and this amazing squad together has been absolutely incredible.
CAPE TOWN – Stormers coach John Dobson has commented on an eventful week in which the Cape side were able to hold on to Pieter-Steph du Toit and also secured the services of Warrick Gellant from the Bulls.
Speculation around Du Toit’s future was rife last week, with reports linking the World Rugby Player of the Year with a move to France.
The player submitted a request to have his contract terminated at the end of last week, but after a number of meetings and negotiations, he signed an extension that will keep him in Cape Town until at least the end of the British and Irish Lions tour next year.
“The support from the board and the shareholder in keeping Pieter-Steph and this amazing squad together has been absolutely incredible. We don’t have billionare equity partners, we are owned by our clubs, which are going through enormous stress themselves,” Dobson said on Wednesday.
While they were able to keep hold of Du Toit, The Stormers will say goodbye to Jean-Luc du Plessis and Cobus Wiese, who like the Springbok World Cup winner, submitted requests to terminate their contracts last week.
“Jean-Luc and his family have been a part of the rich heritage of Western Province Rugby, but we can’t fault him for wanting to earn what he would be earning in Japan. We also understood that when he came off contract he would have gone anyway, so he leaves with our blessing and we are obviously very sad to see him go,” said Dobson.
“Cobus Wiese has been looking to go overseas for personal reasons and we were going to release him anyway.
“Both guys have been good for Province and we understood their personal circumstances,” he said.
On Wednesday, the Stormers were able to secure the services of Warrick Gelant, who will replace Dillyn Leyds who is moving on at the end of the current season.
According to Dobson, he ran the decision to sign Gelant past Damian Willemse and captain Siya Kolisi, who were both “thrilled at the idea”.