Stormers coach Rassie Erasmus is already getting the building blocks in place for the team’s 2009 Super 14 campaign.
Stephen Nell writes in Die Burger that Erasmus intends launching a fierce onslaught on the title that was won by New Zealand’s Crusaders this year.
The former Springbok loose forward will take a look during the next few weeks at which additional talent there may be in the Currie Cup competition.
He wants to add depth to the Stormers’ pool in certain positions by contracting players from outside the Western Province.
“We were fifth in the Super 14 this year. Our goal should be to reach the semi-finals next year, because from there one can win the competition,” Erasmus said this week.
“It was tough for me to take ownership this year because I was appointed only late last year.
“If the Stormers don’t do well next season it may be said, with justification, that the coaching, contracting or the training camp is to blame. There won’t be any excuses.”
The Stormers face a five-match overseas tour next year and Erasmus wants to make use of the lessons he has learnt.
“I know from experience what kind of problems can one expect and I don’t want to make the same mistakes,” the former Cheetahs coach said.
“You also want the conditioning of players who stay at home to remain at Super 14 level.”
Erasmus is taking an active interest in the WP Currie Cup campaign and remains in touch with WP coach Allister Coetzee.
“We have similar ideas about the game and we make sure there is continuity in how we do things in the Currie Cup and Super 14 competitions,” he explained.
“I am in the process of contracting the right players. Club players must also feel they stand a chance. The ideal is to have two senior players in each of the 15 positions, as well as a junior who will come through to challenge them.
“I feel one should have 36 to 40 seniors players on contract. Sometimes provinces have up to 60 contracted players. There may be 15 on smaller contracts but the problem is that they take up the money of five or six top players.”
The Stormers coach wants to ensure that in next year’s Super 14 season he won’t have to put inexperienced players into difficult situations when injury problems arise.
In the past season, he had to field a loose-forward trio of Pieter Myburgh, Francois Louw and Robbie Diack against the Crusaders when Schalk Burger was suspended and Luke Watson had the flu.
Erasmus is also working with club coaches. One of his long-term plans is to draw up a rankings list of WP coaches.
“We should know, for example, who is next in line to coach teams at age-group levels. There should be a hierarchy.
“If there is a need at any club, we should be able to make someone available to assist them with certain aspects of the game.”Tweet