Former Springbok squad member, Isma-eel Dollie, looks set to follow in the footsteps of Clyde Rathbone and join the Brumbies.
Rugby Heaven Aus reports that Cape Town-based flyhalf Dollie flew into Canberra on Tuesday for a meeting today with the club, which he hopes will lead to him being offered a Brumbies Academy contract for 2009.
The 23-year-old, who was included in a Springbok training squad in May this year, has been frustrated at the lack of professional opportunities in his home country.
After missing out on a new contract with Western Province, Dollie sent a DVD of himself in action to overseas clubs including the Brumbies, who invited him to meet coaching staff in Canberra.
“My ultimate goal is to play for the Brumbies and I’m willing to work my way up,” Dollie said.
Dollie, a specialist flyhalf and goal-kicker, sealed victory for South Africa in the Under-19s World Cup in 2003 with a drop goal in the final against New Zealand.
He then went on to be starting flyhalf in the South African team that made the final of the 2006 Under-21s World Cup.
His coach in that tournament was current Springboks coach Peter de Villiers. Earlier this year De Villiers publicly questioned the Cape Town Stormers’ decision to cut Dollie from their squad.
De Villiers said at the time, “Isma-eel is an outstanding player with unusual creative talents.”
Dollie said on Tuesday, “(De Villiers) was quite surprised and probably disappointed that I left, but I had no option. There weren’t many opportunities in South Africa.”
Dollie said he was considering applying for Australian citizenship, which would make him eligible to play for the Wallabies.
Former South African Under-21s captain Rathbone moved to Canberra in 2003 and made his Wallabies debut in 2004.
But even at provincial level Dollie would face hurdles, with talented young playmakers Christian Lealiifano and Matt Toomua already on Brumbies contracts.
The prospect of Test pivot Matt Giteau rejoining ACT for 2009 would further lengthen Dollie’s chances of a Super 14 start.
Dollie will meet with Brumbies Academy coach Darren Coleman today to discuss his options and said he would seize any opportunity offered “with both hands”.
“Stephen Larkham and George Gregan were my heroes when I was a kid, Matt Giteau also and Stirling Mortlock.
“I’ve always enjoyed the style the Brumbies play, it’s very entertaining and I think the way I play can fit in perfectly.”Tweet