Ross Roche

By Ross Roche

Senior sports writer

Mngomezulu to stay at Stormers, Kitshoff departure up in the air

Dobson did admit that dealing with clubs from overseas constantly approaching players was tiring.

Rising Stormers star Sacha Mngomezulu is set to stay in South Africa for the foreseeable future, while Springbok prop Steven Kitshoff’s future at the union is in doubt, after rumours linked both players to moves away.

Recent reports have come out saying that England coach Eddie Jones is interested in Mngomezulu, who has already captained the Junior Boks and holds a British passport, turning out for England, while Kitshoff has been linked with a move to Irish powerhouse Ulster.

At the Stormers pre-match press conference ahead of their game against Ospreys on Friday, Dobson confirmed that he expected Mngomezulu to stay, but he admitted Kitshoff had earned the right to choose what he would do next.

“As far as I know he’s got an English passport. But he is under contract with Western Province until 2025. So I can’t see that as being a realistic possibility for him. We have chatted to him about the rumours, but I believe Sacha is staying,” explained Dobson.

On Kitshoff, Dobson said: “I’ll have a chat to him after the game tomorrow night. Kitsy has a contract until after the World Cup and he has more than earned his spurs and credit within this union to go where he wants to and what is right for his family.

“So if that is the case that he is going to Ulster and it is what he wants to do it will absolutely be with our blessing. He has respected his contract here and he has put in so much on and off the field.

“So who knows with Kitsy. Maybe a couple of years at Ulster and he will be back with us. He is that sort of bloke. I will have a chat with him, but I can’t confirm whether he is going or not yet.”

Clubs approaching players

Dobson did, however, admit that dealing with professional clubs from overseas approaching players, often without informing the team first, was a very tiring and irritating thing to have to constantly deal with.

“It’s pretty exhausting every day to hear of another player being approached. And this mindset of some of these clubs who think that South African’s, Fijians and other players are fair game to have conversations with is frustrating,” said Dobson.

“We don’t think, oh look there is a good young player at an English club and we are just going to start talking to him. We try to look after our own and bring through our own (players). It seems like we are on the back foot a lot of the time fending off (teams), especially if you do well.

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“We focus fully on developing our own players, and we are not the only South African team to do that, I think we all do. Once we do that successfully we have to deal with approaches from elsewhere and it is tiring,” he added.

Dobson continued: “Every week there is a new player who someone wants to chat to from overseas. Whether they are in or out of contract, in the year or without the window, but we continue on.

“We are very proud to bring through our own players and we are very excited about this generation of youngsters coming through.”

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John Dobson Steven Kitshoff Stormers rugby team

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