Stormers Rugby a name close to all our hearts

PUBLISHED: April 10, 2024

CEO Johan le Roux is excited to confirm that Western Province Professional Rugby (WPPR) will in future be known as Stormers Rugby, in an aim to closely align with the DHL Stormers fan base.

Le Roux, who is a major roleplayer in the Red Disa Consortium as head of Fynbos Ekwiteit, said the change has been brought on to bring the identity of the company closer to that of the senior team.

“My ambition for the DHL Stormers is closely aligned with fans. I want to build a team that is consistently successful and regularly competes for and wins major trophies,” Le Roux said.

“It is to closer align our company’s corporate profile with that of our top team, from which we derive all our revenue,” he added.

He explained that a simple name change is the first step towards the professional and community entities establishing their own beneficial identities.

“It also allows for an easier differentiation between a professional entity [Stormers Rugby] and the entity responsible for amateur rugby, WPRFU.

“We found that the similarity in names [WPPR and WPRFU] leads to confusion – not just through their identity, but also their roles in the game.

“We believe a simple name change will take the first step towards helping both – the professional and community entities – establish their own unique identity to the benefit of both.

“The company name change will not affect the names of any of the teams that compete on the field.”

He emphasised the DHL Stormers’ vision to retain our community and club roots while helping to build the team and brand on a global scale.

“We think Western Province rugby, or the DHL Stormers, is well placed to be the strongest financial club in the country,” Le Roux said.

“The motive for the investors is to save the club and to make sure this region retains the heritage of Western Province rugby and the DHL Stormers.

“In simple terms, it’s about building a team with enough quality and depth to compete in the Vodacom United Rugby Championship and Investec Champions Cup at the same time.

“From my family’s perspective, the investment is funded from the philanthropic balance sheet. Ardagh, our Irish partners, see this as a community investment.

“It’s not profit-driven, it’s purely in the interest of rugby and what it means to the society. It is important for us that we can get to financial stability.”