Western Province Professional Rugby and Windhoek Draught Griquas/Griqualand-West Rugby Union have signed a strategic player development agreement that harnesses the combined capabilities of WP Rugby and GWR to cultivate talent and establish progression pathways for players.
The agreement enables Windhoek Draught Griquas players to ultimately represent the DHL Stormers and also introduces a player loan structure that allows DHL Stormers players to join Windhoek Draught Griquas.
This innovative initiative improves the depth and competitiveness of the Kimberley team’s squad and provides additional competitive playing time for those DHL Stormers players on loan. One of the more effective methods of player development is through competitive playing time in professionally managed rugby structures such as GWR.
The two franchises already enjoy a rich history of working together to develop players. Current DHL Stormers players such as Stefan Ungerer and Adre Smith developed through an informal relationship with Windhoek Draught Griquas, and lock Dylan Sjöblom (who played in the Investec Champions Cup match against Leicester Tigers) is on loan from Griquas. Meanwhile, DHL Stormers prop Leon Lyons and scrumhalf Thomas Bursey have both joined Windhoek Draught Griquas to continue their rugby development.
Both teams have agreed to collaborate on staff development, providing opportunities for staff to learn from one another and share best practices.
WP Rugby and GWK players will be managed and developed in a coordinated way so that the transition of players to Vodacom URC level rugby is better achieved. A deep and well-trained squad is becoming critical to success in international competitions, and this agreement assists in the development of squad depth, at the right skill level, to ultimately ensure that the DHL Stormers are able to be one of the leading international rugby franchises.