Red Disa Investments, led by Fynbos Ekwiteit and Ardagh Glass Packaging – Africa, along with Marble Head Investments, is in the final stages of discussions to acquire a 74% stake in Western Province Professional Rugby, the proud owner of the DHL Stormers and DHL Western Province.
The proposed deal was presented to the WPRFU clubs at a meeting on Wednesday and will be voted on next week.
Red Disa’s ambition for the DHL Stormers is aligned with the faithful fans – to be a consistently successful team that is regularly competing for and winning major trophies.
The investment group intend to instil a philosophy founded on the following key principles:
- The DHL Stormers and DHL WP will play an attractive, exciting brand of rugby and be an inspiration to schools, clubs, and rugby loving South Africans.
- Rugby and on-field performance will be at the heart of every decision made in the organisation.
- Identification, development, and retention of local talent is paramount and there will be a focus on the production of marquee players for DHL WP, the DHL Stormers and future Springboks.
- Consistent success on the field will only be achieved with strong commercial leadership and financial stability off the field.
- DHL WP and the DHL Stormers will be true community teams and the support of local businesses, clubs and schools is critical to their success.
This investment will be the conclusion of a thorough and detailed process that has arrived at a deal that benefits all stakeholders and will leave the DHL Stormers well-placed to pursue a clear, long-term strategy.
Johan le Roux of Fynbos Ekwiteit said: “As Capetonians and lifelong fans of Western Province Rugby and the DHL Stormers, we are very excited by the opportunity to invest in this wonderful franchise. We are confident that the financial stability brought about by this transaction will create the ideal environment for John, Salmaan and their team to take their rightful place amongst the giants of the game.”
Paul Curnow, CEO of Ardagh Glass Packaging – Africa, said: “An investment in the DHL Stormers, with the focus to develop homegrown talent, would be complementary to Ardagh’s multiple initiatives in South Africa, including expansion of capacity in our Nigel facility, the ‘money4glass’ recycling programme, our new Employee Share Ownership Plan, and the establishment of our Africa IT Centre of Excellence.”
About Fynbos Ekwiteit:
Fynbos Ekwiteit is a Cape Town based investment holding company. The economic rights of Fynbos Ekwiteit vest in Fynbos Trust, which was settled by Capitec founder Michiel le Roux. The purpose of the Fynbos Trust is to contribute to the advancement of South Africa, the advancement of South African sport, culture, religion, education and other interests of South Africans, the protection and advancement of South African animals and vegetation, Afrikaans as a language, and the advancement of the interests of humanity in whichever way or wherever in the world it may be possible.
About Ardagh Glass Packaging – Africa:
Ardagh is the leading glass packaging company in South Africa, employing almost 2,000 people, and with production facilities in Johannesburg and Cape Town.
About Marble Head Investments:
Marble Head Investments is the personal investment company of André van der Veen, based in Stellenbosch. André previously served on the board of WPPR where he worked closely with John Dobson on the board’s rugby subcommittee and had oversight of the company’s finances. He believes that with the right investment, management, and support from the loyal DHL Western Province supporters, the DHL Stormers could become one of the world’s leading club rugby franchises.
All You Need To Know | Barbarians Double-Header
The Munster Men’s and Women’s team will be in action this weekend in a historic double-header against the Barbarians.
Find out all you need to know ahead of the games below.
There will be a minute’s applause for Greig Oliver ahead of the men’s game following his tragic passing in July. Hawick RFC posted a lovely piece on a commemorative event that was recently held at the club here. Read our tribute to Greig here.
The women’s game kicks off at 2pm and the men’s game starts at 4.30pm.
Tickets are available to purchase here from €20 for adults and €10 for juniors right up until kick off.
The best value tickets are the Family Packs of four tickets for just €40 which include 2 Adults & 2 Juniors tickets.
Live on Access Munster, brought to you by Pinergy – see full details here.
Did you know?
The URC trophy will be on display for photos behind the North Terrace.
The first-ever Barbarians Women’s game was played against Munster at Thomond Park in 2017.
The Munster men’s team have never faced the Barbarians.
All four sides will be named before lunchtime on Friday.
Hear from Munster Women’s Head Coach Niamh Briggs and Men’s Head Coach Graham Rowntree ahead of the games.
Tickets for all Munster men’s home game for the 2023/24 campaign are available here.
Images & Content from Munster Rugby
Cardiff announce signing of new fly-half
Cardiff Rugby have added further depth to their fly-half resources with the signing of former Wales Under-20s star Arwel Robson.
The 26-year-old arrives from Cornish Pirates where he has spent the last two seasons after leaving Dragons RFC in 2021.
Robson has already linked up with the first-team squad and is relishing the opportunity that lies ahead at Cardiff Arms Park.
He said: “I’m incredibly excited to make the move to Cardiff. It’s an honour to be able to play at the Arms Park and I can’t wait to get the chance to run out here for the first time.
“I grew up on the terraces of the Arms Park, in a family of Cardiff season ticket holders and I was a ball boy for years so it is a club that means a huge amount to me and my family.
“After speaking to Matt about the style of play he wants to utilise, I’m confident it will really suit me and also continue to bring my game on.
“I’m very grateful to everyone at Cornish Pirates for the opportunity and support they gave me in the past few years.
“I’ve played a lot of rugby down there and feel I am returning to Wales a better player and I am looking forward to continuing my development at the Arms Park.
“Cardiff also have a reputation for developing talent and the progression of players from the academy right through to the senior national team is testament to that.
“Now I am just looking forward to getting on the training pitch and competing for game-time.”
Robson will fight for a place at fly-half alongside fellow new signing Tinus de Beer, Ben Thomas and academy duo Harrison James and Harri Wilde.
He is the fourth signing this summer, following de Beer, Ciaran Parker and Rhys Litterick, and head coach Matt Sherratt is pleased to add to his fly-half resources.
Sherratt said: “We are delighted have have signed Arwel for this season. He has a good skill set, will challenge the line and having regular game time has improved his in game management.
“He has played a significant amount with Cornish Pirates over the past two seasons which is a sign of a player who was willing to take himself out of his comfort zone to go to a new club and get regular game time. It shows he is driven.
“Added to that he has a connection with the region and a point to prove in the Welsh professional game. He gives us a bit more depth at 10 and has slotted in well to training.”
Spingbok loosehead joins DHL Stormers ranks
Loosehead prop Lizo Gqoboka has joined the DHL Stormers squad ahead of the 2023/24 season.
The 33-year-old Springbok front row forward has made the move to Cape Town and brings considerable experience with him.
Gqoboka only took up the game at the age of 19 and within two years had already secured his first professional contract. He has accumulated over 150 senior caps since then and made his Springbok debut in 2019.
DHL Stormers Head Coach John Dobson said that Gqoboka’s proven track record means he will be ready to hit the ground running when the season gets underway.
“Lizo is an experienced player who would be a valuable asset for any squad in what is an important position.
“He has already settled in well here in the pre-season and we are all looking forward to seeing what he can do when the season gets underway,” he said.
Gqoboka said that having played against the DHL Stormers many times in his career, he is excited about feeling the support of the Faithful.
“This is a great team with some incredible supporters and I can’t wait to run out in the blue and white jersey and give my all.
“My family and I have felt at home right away here, my teammates and the coaches have been so welcoming and I want to repay that when I get the chance to take the field as a DHL Stormer,” he said.