KSA Shark ©

Q&A: ‘Rassie is recruiting’


Written by Andre Bosch (KSA Shark ©)

Posted in :In the news, WP on 16 Oct 2008 at 17:14

Part two of Sport 24′s chief writer Rob Houwing’s in-depth interview with WP Rugby managing director Rob Wagner

Click here for Part One of the interview with Rob Wagner.

Sport24: Are the Sharks or Bulls franchises actually wealthier than you are now?

Wagner: I wouldn’t say significantly more wealthy, but they do have extra commercial opportunities. Their stadia have multi-purpose rights; we don’t. They are able to generate more income from the commercialisation of their stadia, hosting far more events. For example Robbie Williams was a great money-spinner for the other venues: we were not allowed to stage that concert. They also manage to generate a very tidy amount of money through soccer. I speak under correction but I think Loftus makes about R3m to R4m on soccer. Obviously we’ve had Ajax Cape Town at Newlands before but they just don’t generate the big followings of the other centres. But the big unions are generally on a par; our retainers to our professional players are more or less the same. Where we score is on crowds, season tickets and suites.

Sport24: But across the railway line, Sahara Park Newlands cricket ground seems to be increasingly multi-purpose …

Wagner: It’s a technical issue. It comes down to being able to put people on the field itself, and having the correct access and exit points from your field. If something happens on the grass itself, you have got to be able to evacuate people quickly in terms of disaster management stipulations and we simply can’t. The cricket ground has much bigger exit possibilities; north, south, over the grass banks and so on. All the major entertainers require big field areas for gold and platinum circles so again we can’t provide those. We are also slap-bang in the middle of a residential area. And if you look at the cricket ground they haven’t been staging hard-rockers like Guns n’ Roses … the nature of the concerts has been more Lionel Ritchie or Elton John, or religious festivals. So we have to be clever and make up in other ways for the lack of utilisation of our stadium. It’s tough, a huge constraint for us, using a 48 000-capacity stadium only 20 times a year.

Sport24: I think a lot of supporters would still contend that the engine room is the Achilles Heel of Stormers/WP rugby; that the pack is still shy of a couple of true heavyweights … why, for instance, was a pretty big, scrummaging hooker like Tiaan Liebenberg allowed to leave?

Wagner: I can’t really comment on the technical aspects of Rassie’s game-plan going into the future. He will be able to expand on that. We are extremely fortunate he’s with us; he’s a great, great rugby visionary. But in terms of Tiaan and Ross Skeate, they are great examples of just not being able to compete financially with the European market, and especially the French market. Both players were offered contracts, and good ones at that; both we ideally wanted to keep. I mean, look at how New Zealand have suffered through the exodus of players, and it’s not like it’s bottomed out for them, either. It’s an ongoing issue. And it’s something, I think, that will take the IRB closer to seriously addressing the creation of a global season, so you don’t have this mass movement of players.

Sport24: Can you assure the Newlands public that you are ambitious, nevertheless, in squad strengthening/recruitment terms?

Wagner: Rassie is recruiting, yes, and recruiting where he feels are the areas the team needs bolstering. Again, he’ll have to motivate on that front. First week of November we will hopefully have completed our contracting process for the Super 14.

Sport24: Sireli Naqelevuki was a creative signing back in 2006. Was the idea primarily to get a big physical specimen — a bit of a Lomu, maybe – into the backline?

Wagner: Having a big guy like that creates an iconic status in itself. The other thing is that you hear people saying he’s not involved in play, he doesn’t seem to be moving quickly … we can give you stats of who carries the ball the furthest and they will tell you (otherwise). The yardage he makes, and importantly with a lot of people hanging onto him, is phenomenal. Also, in the Super 14 you are up against some really big backline players in the New Zealand teams, in particular: Sireli is just one of a number of players of that size! So from that point of view he is vital and he does bring that bit of difference to your team.

Sport24: What about the “Dad’s Army” perception some wags have about recent Rassie Erasmus acquisitions like AJ Venter and Willem de Waal, and the desire to persevere with Monty for Super 14 2009?

Wagner: OK, let me take a guy like Willem de Waal. You contract a squad, and I think the Sharks and Crusaders have both demonstrated that you sometimes field different horses for different courses. The Western Cape, let’s not forget, is a winter rainfall area – you don’t need me to tell you that after the one we’ve just had. Think that first Currie Cup game in Durban; rained like hell. De Waal kicked everything over. Bulls at Newlands? Rained like hell; he kicked everything over. Cheetahs at Newlands: same story. There will be games where you need to keep on kicking for the corners, keep your team going forward, and bang over your penalties when they come. Then look at what Percy offers you in that department, not to even mention his experience and the way it rubs off around him. As for AJ, Rassie brought him in specifically as a back-up No 4 lock – he was sometimes forced back into loose forward activity (in the Currie Cup) only because of injuries we had in that area. Think Wylie Human for back-up and pure experience … I challenge anyone to say he’s ever let us down. So these are players contracted for specific reasons, and not just for on-field stuff on match day. Ask our young pack in those first nine Currie Cup games, about the aura and mentoring influence of AJ behind the scenes. The Kosters and Kritzingers will tell you what they learn just over a lunch with AJ Venter. Plus these older guys are great to have on tour.

Sport24: Although Newlands is bypassed for the Tests, are you confident the ground will be filled for both British Lions tour matches next year, against Western Province and even the Emerging Boks?

Wagner: The funny thing about the Emerging Bok game, Rob, is that it is shaping as the most popular game … particularly from the overseas market, because it is on the Tuesday before the Pretoria (second) Test. Thus it is being sold as a tourist package taking in the sights of Cape Town plus the game reserves and so on up north. So it’s suddenly a massively attractive midweek game. I don’t know exact numbers but even for that one I’d expect at least 10 000 Lions fans. Of course we’re disappointed not to have a Test but the reality of the matter is that Lions tours now are far more “commercial entities” than they were in the past: with our fully subscribed suites and so on, we simply could not provide the volume of corporate hospitality requirements agreed between the Lions company and SA Rugby. So that is why I fought tooth and nail for a Tri-Nations Test here next year (against Australia) – we would normally get one every second year. Let’s not forget Province against Lions a week out from the first Test will be a wonderful thing. Our guys are already licking their (lips) for that one; they are so keen to actually get a chance to play a proper “tour” fixture, just like would have happened in the past with more extended All Blacks visits, for instance. That just doesn’t happen nowadays. I’m hugely excited about seeing the blue-and-white jersey go into battle with that famous red one! I can tell you, too, that Emerging Boks will be a true Emerging Boks, and thus a fascinating exercise in itself.



59 Comments

  • Where we score is on crowds, season tickets and suites.

    But I suspect you score less than the Bulls and Sharks on that front.

  • Comment 1, posted at 16.10.08 17:19:15 by KSA Shark © Reply
    KSA Shark ©Head Coach
     
  • Surely the Sharks and Bulls have similar issues on the amount of exits from the ground yet they use their stadiums for all sorts of events.

  • Comment 2, posted at 16.10.08 17:22:19 by KSA Shark © Reply
    KSA Shark ©Head Coach
     
  • And it’s something, I think, that will take the IRB closer to seriously addressing the creation of a global season, so you don’t have this mass movement of players.

    :?: :?: :?: :?:

    What am I missing here? How will the creation of a global season stop players from moving to richer offers?

    Surely it is more advantageous to us, from a player movement point of view if our seasons DON’T overlap so that players are available to us when their EU season is over?

  • Comment 3, posted at 16.10.08 17:27:14 by KSA Shark © Reply
    KSA Shark ©Head Coach
     
  • This guy certainly talks up a good storm, but that’s about it I’m afraid.

  • Comment 4, posted at 16.10.08 17:33:30 by KSA Shark © Reply
    KSA Shark ©Head Coach
     
  • Why are they not buying props? That’s what I want to know.

  • Comment 5, posted at 16.10.08 17:37:25 by McLovin Reply
    McLovinAssistant coach
     
  • As far as I know the resident around Newlands aren’t that keen on noisy concert etc.

  • Comment 6, posted at 16.10.08 17:38:17 by McLovin Reply
    McLovinAssistant coach
     
  • @McLovin (Comment 6) :

    Yeah that’s cool but what about soccer etc. He is saying that one of the main reasons is that they don’t have the required emergency exits at Newlands. Surely KP and Loftus have the same issue.

  • Comment 7, posted at 16.10.08 17:45:34 by KSA Shark © Reply
    KSA Shark ©Head Coach
     
  • @McLovin (Comment 5) :

    you don’t need props for uncontested scrums :razz:

  • Comment 8, posted at 16.10.08 17:46:16 by KSA Shark © Reply
    KSA Shark ©Head Coach
     
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 8) : Very funny. :smile:

  • Comment 9, posted at 16.10.08 18:04:02 by McLovin Reply
    McLovinAssistant coach
     
  • @McLovin (Comment 9) :

    :smile:

  • Comment 10, posted at 16.10.08 18:13:13 by KSA Shark © Reply
    KSA Shark ©Head Coach
     
  • Man i am getting frustrated with an article i am trying to post. :lol:

  • Comment 11, posted at 16.10.08 18:20:21 by KSA Shark © Reply
    KSA Shark ©Head Coach
     
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 1) :
    They score so well on the suite holders that thier success on that point excludes them from hosting a Lion test.

  • Comment 12, posted at 17.10.08 13:27:41 by Salmonoid Reply
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  • “I mean, look at how New Zealand have suffered through the exodus of players, and it’s not like it’s bottomed out for them, either.”

    But they still managed to win the Super 14 and Tri-Nations.

  • Comment 13, posted at 17.10.08 13:44:49 by Salmonoid Reply
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  • Look like Rassie is finishing recruiting and the WeePee contracted squad is just out
    http://www.wprugby.com/playerprofiles.asp?team=currie%20cup

    Pretty glad Steady Eddie has retired but still doubts if Diack & Melck will reappear.

    Pretty disappointing Dewald Duvenhage havent been named in front of over the hill Bolla Conradie but other then that a pretty usefull and experiensed squad. Watch my words, Dewaldt will follow Hawies to the Cheaters.

    WP U21 contracted players also been named
    http://www.wprugby.com/default.asp?cId=17359

    Some usefull Gimmie fatties like Lourens Adriaanse (brother of Jacobie, now with Boland) & Jean Rossouw, x Gimmie capt. Also good to see the names of Burger Schoeman & Juan de Jongh in there.

  • Comment 14, posted at 11.12.08 07:08:09 by PaarlBok Reply

    PaarlBokCurrie Cup player
     
  • Wtf is Paul Bosch?

  • Comment 15, posted at 11.12.08 08:35:31 by PJLD Reply
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  • Played for the Luipers CC this year.

  • Comment 16, posted at 11.12.08 08:40:16 by PaarlBok Reply

    PaarlBokCurrie Cup player
     
  • Locks seem to be a bit thin on the ground for WP. I mean Lobberts is ‘only’ 1,90m?

  • Comment 17, posted at 11.12.08 10:41:56 by McLovin Reply

    McLovinAssistant coach
     
  • @McLovin (Comment 17) : that’s pretty short… same height as Wolla

  • Comment 18, posted at 11.12.08 10:54:16 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
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  • @robdylan (Comment 18) : Ja-nee, for a lock that seems a bit short. But maybe Rassie has a plan. :roll:

  • Comment 19, posted at 11.12.08 11:01:39 by McLovin Reply

    McLovinAssistant coach
     
  • And now Rassie wants to play Koster at wing.

  • Comment 20, posted at 11.12.08 11:01:58 by PJLD Reply
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  • @PJLD (Comment 20) : I don’t think he’ll be picked as the starting wing, only as cover maybe. I think… maybe…. probably… :mrgreen:

  • Comment 21, posted at 11.12.08 11:07:04 by McLovin Reply

    McLovinAssistant coach
     
  • A couple of New Jersey hunters are out in the woods when one of them falls to the ground. He doesn’t seem to be breathing, his eyes are rolled back in his head. The other guy whips out his cell phone and calls the emergency services. He gasps to the operator: “My friend is dead! What can I do?”

    The operator, in a calm soothing voice says: “Just take it easy. I can help. First, let’s make sure he’s dead.” There is a silence, then a shot is heard.

    The guy’s voice comes back on the line. He says: “OK, now what?“

  • Comment 22, posted at 11.12.08 11:30:03 by PJLD Reply
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  • @PJLD (Comment 20) :

    Haven’t seen many successful conversions from forwards to backs and most of the successful conversions from backs to forwards happened at least late in their school careers, for example Andrew Aiken from fullback to eighthman and Gary Tiechmann from centre to eighthman.

    Can anyone think of a successful conversion from forwards to backs?

    Obviously the later the change comes the more difficult it gets.

  • Comment 23, posted at 11.12.08 11:30:47 by Dive Pass Reply

    Dive PassCurrie Cup player
     
  • @Dive Pass (Comment 23) : Not really bru

  • Comment 24, posted at 11.12.08 11:33:23 by PJLD Reply
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  • When NASA first started sending up astronauts, they quickly discovered that ballpoint pens would not work in zero gravity. To combat the problem, NASA scientists spent a decade and $12 billion to develop a pen that writes in zero gravity, upside down, underwater, on almost any surface including glass and at temperatures ranging from below freezing to 300°C.

    The Russians used a pencil.

  • Comment 25, posted at 11.12.08 11:33:39 by PJLD Reply
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  • @Dive Pass (Comment 23) :

    JPP from lock to World Class winger… :mrgreen:

  • Comment 26, posted at 11.12.08 12:04:01 by wpw Reply
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  • @wpw (Comment 26) : Vic from lock to wing ?

  • Comment 27, posted at 11.12.08 12:07:42 by blckshrk - BUCS Reply

    blackshark - I'm back!Super Rugby player
     
  • SA lost the warm-up game. :evil:

  • Comment 28, posted at 11.12.08 12:44:14 by McLovin Reply

    McLovinAssistant coach
     
  • @wpw (Comment 26) :

    Was JPP a lock at school?

  • Comment 29, posted at 11.12.08 13:55:40 by Dive Pass Reply

    Dive PassCurrie Cup player
     
  • @Dive Pass (Comment 29) : Yep and at club level.When Dick spotted him he was still playing lock.

  • Comment 30, posted at 11.12.08 13:58:10 by PJLD Reply
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  • @Dive Pass (Comment 29) : yep

  • Comment 31, posted at 11.12.08 14:11:59 by wpw Reply
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  • @PJLD (Comment 30) :

    Wow didn’t release that….I just spoke to one of the guys from Jaguars rugby club and they say they think he was playing flank. But which ever way it is a hell of a conversion. One of Dick’s great conversions actually came off in style .

  • Comment 32, posted at 11.12.08 14:18:55 by Dive Pass Reply

    Dive PassCurrie Cup player
     
  • @Dive Pass (Comment 32) :

    Dude read your last sentence slowly.

    :shock:

  • Comment 33, posted at 11.12.08 14:22:48 by wpw Reply
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  • :???:

  • Comment 34, posted at 11.12.08 14:27:00 by Dive Pass Reply

    Dive PassCurrie Cup player
     
  • @PJLD (Comment 30) : is that so? Didn’t realise that…

  • Comment 35, posted at 11.12.08 15:03:30 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
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  • @robdylan (Comment 35) : and you call yourself a Sharks supporter… :wink:

  • Comment 36, posted at 11.12.08 15:08:20 by wpw Reply
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  • @wpw (Comment 36) : I do. That’s why I can celebrate winning the Currie Cup this year. What you got? :)

  • Comment 37, posted at 11.12.08 15:37:57 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 37) : :evil: :evil: :evil:

  • Comment 38, posted at 11.12.08 15:44:36 by wpw Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 35) : :neutral:

  • Comment 39, posted at 11.12.08 15:45:30 by PJLD Reply
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  • HEEELLLOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!! :grin: :grin:

  • Comment 40, posted at 11.12.08 15:54:51 by Ice (Bébé de Glace) Reply
    Competition Winner IceAssistant coach
     
  • HEEELLLOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!! to you too.

  • Comment 41, posted at 11.12.08 16:00:51 by Salmonoid Reply
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  • Did you miss me?? :twisted:

  • Comment 42, posted at 11.12.08 16:02:43 by Ice (Bébé de Glace) Reply
    Competition Winner IceAssistant coach
     
  • @Ice (Bébé de Glace) (Comment 40) :
    Hows things by the new job? Sorted the boss out yet?

  • Comment 43, posted at 11.12.08 16:04:17 by Salmonoid Reply
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  • Big time – Ive just blogged 3x as much as I have since you disappeared.

  • Comment 44, posted at 11.12.08 16:05:47 by Salmonoid Reply
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  • @Salmonoid (Comment 43) :

    Hahahahah….I take my chances…but i am really busy and working my ass off! :???:

    @Salmonoid (Comment 44) :

    Why ??

    Have you got a “spreukbeurt” now that I am gone?? :wink:

  • Comment 45, posted at 11.12.08 16:10:48 by Ice (Bébé de Glace) Reply
    Competition Winner IceAssistant coach
     
  • No I meant that I missed you so much that my last 3 posts were the only ones that I had posted since you had left.

  • Comment 46, posted at 11.12.08 16:14:59 by Salmonoid Reply
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  • @Salmonoid (Comment 46) :

    Ahhhhhhhhh….. :grin: :oops: :wink:

  • Comment 47, posted at 11.12.08 16:19:33 by Ice (Bébé de Glace) Reply
    Competition Winner IceAssistant coach
     
  • I wil be able to talk more when I have my office to myself…at the moment I am ‘in Training” so to speak and I really need to get to know this stuff!!

    So…adios Amigo’s!! I am off, seriously need a HUGE glass of wine.. :wink:

  • Comment 48, posted at 11.12.08 16:22:28 by Ice (Bébé de Glace) Reply
    Competition Winner IceAssistant coach
     
  • @Ice (Bébé de Glace) (Comment 48) : look forward to that

  • Comment 49, posted at 11.12.08 16:46:47 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
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  • There were two church-going women gossiping in front of the store when a dusty old cowboy rode up. He tied up in front of the saloon, walked around behind his horse, lifted its tail and kissed the horse full on its rectum.

    Repulsed, one of the women asked, “That’s disgusting, why did you do THAT?”

    To which the cowboy replied, “I’ve got chapped lips.”

    Confused, the women continued, “Does that make them feel better?”

    “No, but it stops me from licking them!”

  • Comment 50, posted at 11.12.08 16:49:41 by PJLD Reply
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  • @PJLD (Comment 50) :
    YeeHaaa :lol:

  • Comment 51, posted at 11.12.08 17:29:00 by Salmonoid Reply
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  • @Salmonoid (Comment 51) : ride em, doggie!

  • Comment 52, posted at 11.12.08 17:55:23 by robdylan Reply
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    robdylanHead Coach
     
  • Western Australia vs Proteas:

    Proteas 197/4 off 62 overs

    Smith 12
    McKenzie 69
    Prince 10
    AB de Villiers 82 not out
    Boucher 13
    Amla 4 not out

    :roll:

  • Comment 53, posted at 12.12.08 08:10:27 by wpw Reply
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  • Look like you lot going well on my Stormers relive thread. :cool:

  • Comment 54, posted at 12.12.08 08:28:33 by PaarlBok Reply

    PaarlBokCurrie Cup player
     
  • @PaarlBok (Comment 54) : Mornings

  • Comment 55, posted at 12.12.08 08:44:51 by PJLD Reply
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  • SA 243/4

    AB 114*
    Amla 17*

    :cool:

  • Comment 56, posted at 12.12.08 09:03:17 by wpw Reply
    Author
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  • @wpw (Comment 56) : Hope Amla goes on to make a ton…

  • Comment 57, posted at 12.12.08 09:30:53 by blckshrk - BUCS Reply

    blackshark - I'm back!Super Rugby player
     
  • South Africa 1st Innings
    Total 6 wickets , 79.0 overs 291
    McKenzie, ND b:Coetzee 69
    Smith, GC b:Porter 12
    Prince, AG c:Thompson b:Coetzee 10
    de Villiers, AB ret: 129
    Boucher, MV c:Robinson b:Thompson 13
    Amla, HM not out 45
    Steyn, DW c:Simmons b:Johnston 4
    Ntini, M not out 0

    Kallis, JH
    Morkel, M
    Harris, PL

  • Comment 58, posted at 12.12.08 09:37:09 by blckshrk - BUCS Reply

    blackshark - I'm back!Super Rugby player
     
  • South Africa 1st Innings

    Total 8 wickets (dec) , 90.0 overs 320

    Amla, HM not out 59
    Steyn, DW c:Simmons b:Johnston 4
    Ntini, M b:Davis 4
    Harris, PL lbw:Thompson 11
    Tsotsobe, LL not out 0
    Morkel, M

  • Comment 59, posted at 12.12.08 11:19:02 by blckshrk - BUCS Reply

    blackshark - I'm back!Super Rugby player
     

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