Discarded Springbok training squad member Isma-eel Dollie’s dash to Australia did not end in a glamorous Super 14 contract with the Brumbies, as he had hoped, but the flyhalf has been offered an opportunity to “prove himself” in Canberra.
Rugby 365′s Jan De Koning reports that Dollie has been offered a Tier Three Brumbies Academy opportunity for 2009.
Nick Smith, the Media and Communications Coordinator at the Brumbies, confirmed that Dollie was offered a chance to train with the Australian franchise on its lowest rung.
“He met with Brumbies Academy coach Darren Coleman on Wednesday and joined in for his first Academy training session that evening,” Smith told rugby365.com on Friday.
The Tier Three Academy deal means there is no wages, no payments for expenses and no contract binding the franchise to Dollie.
The 23-year-old, who went to Brisbane after failing to get a Super 14 contract in South Africa, must also secure a work visa when his current business visa expires in late February, and then he’ll need to find a job to meet his living costs.
It is far from the glamorous Super 14 contract he had sought, as he will be playing club rugby – for the University-Norths – in Canberra next year.
Dollie, a surprise inclusion in Springbok coach Peter de Villiers’ expanded training squad early this year, approached the Brumbies after failing to get a contract in South Africa.
Out of contract after his WP contract ended in October, he has been unable to break into Super Rugby – despite being highly rated by the Bok coach, for whom he played at age-group level in 2006.
He spent most of the last few years playing Vodacom Cup (second tier provincial rugby) and club rugby, while he was also a member of the Boland Cavaliers Currie Cup squad – without getting too much game time.
Dollie, who had sent his CV to “many teams” in France, England, Australia and New Zealand, has now opted for a low key club game in Canberra as he tries to resurrect a career that once showed tremendous promise.
Coleman said the franchise admired the determination of Dollie.
”It was spelled out to him not only where he’d be starting, but what was in front of him in terms of other players and their age and obviously even the newspaper talk of [Matt] Giteau maybe being around in the future,” Coleman told the Canberra times.
”That didn’t dampen his enthusiasm. He’s here to work and he wants an opportunity and you can’t begrudge him that.”Tweet