Super Rugby

Dobson: Stormers not impacted by Zacks departure

Cape Town - The Stormers are in a "really good space" as they prepare for Super Rugby 2020 despite the news on Monday that CEO of the Western Province Rugby Paul Zacks had stepped down

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This comes after months of reports of in-fighting between the union's amateur arm, the Western Province Rugby Football Union (WPRFU), and the professional arm in the form of WP Rugby. 

The news on Monday did not come as a surprise and a "business committee" has now been appointed to handle the day-to-day running of the organisation, but Dobson confirmed on Monday that what was going on at an administrative level and a boardroom level was not influencing his players at all. 

"Independent of that, we're in a really good space in terms of how we've built the squad," he said from the team's Bellville training complex. 

"We're in a really good operating space at the moment. I feel like we're backed and empowered.

"It has no impact."

Dobson and Zacks were influential in assembling the squad for the 2020 season, with Dobson in particular convincing a number of key players to buy into his philosophy and commit to what will be the union's last season at Newlands before a move to Cape Town Stadium in 2021. 

It was not an easy sell, with the financial and administrative woes of the union well-documented. 

"I think Paul did a good job in helping us assemble the squad and I'm sorry for him that he won't be here to see any rewards we might reap," Dobson said.

"2019 was a tricky year off the field, as we all know, and to sit here in what is an improved physical environment with improved operating systems, great energy and freedom of movement ... we're not feeling any interference or anything.

"It's feeling good for us, I must say."

The Stormers take on the Sharks this Sunday in their final warm-up before their first Super Rugby clash at home to the Hurricanes on Saturday, February 1.

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