Looking at the tall timber, in what has been a troublesome position for the Cheetahs in seasons past. With stalwarts like Barend Pieterse, Rory Duncan, Corniel van Zyl, Flip van der Merwe, David de Villiers , Nico Breedt, and Wilhelm Steenkamp all leaving a void, so a new generation of locks has to be nurtured. With the more recent departures of George Earle, and Izak van der Westhuizens’s departure for colder pastures, a perception could exist, that the Cheetah class of 2013 could struggle in the second row. Well, maybe not!
The Lock Contenders:
Andries Stephanus Ferreira:
Age: 23 years – 29 March 1990
Vital Statistics: (H) 197 cm (W) 120 kg
Born in Despatch, Andries finished school at Affies in Pretoria. He represented EP at the u/16 Grant Khomo week in 2005 and 2006. In 2008 he represented the Bulls at the u/18 Craven Week, and made the SA Elite Squad, as well as the SA Schools squad. He continued to rise up the ranks at the Bulls, playing for the u/19, and u/21 sides. After a brief stint playing European league, Andries was signed by the Cheetahs in 2012. Since then he has 14 Super Rugby matches under his belt, primarily as a No. 4 lock, and is beginning to grow in stature.
Age: 26 years – 24 July 1986
Vital Statistics: (H) 196 cm (W) 120 kg
Born in East London, Ligtoring as he is nicknamed, went to school in Despatch. He represented EP at the u/18 Craven Week in 2004. He was then signed by the Leopards, and played in their u/19 team, also being selected for the SA u/19 team. He continued his career with the Leopards, representing them at u/21, Vodacom Cup and Currie Cup level. In 2009 he made his Super rugby debut for the Lions. He also played for the Royal XV vs. the touring British & Irish Lions. After a year with Boland in 2011, he was contracted by Griquas in 2012. He has played well for Griquas, and will hope to be in the final Cheetahs S15 squad for 2013.
Age: 20 years – 17 December 1992
Vital Statistics: (H) 205 cm (W) 125 kg
Born in Alberton, the big fellow attended Hugenote Springs. He started his provincial career with the Leopards u/19 team, and by accounts he was unlucky to have not made the final cut for the Junior Bok squad of 2012. Lood played Currie Cup rugby for the Leopards before being thrust into the limelight by Naka, and could well be the Cheetahs bolter for 2013. It is probable that he will make his Super Rugby debut before playing Currie Cup rugby for his new provincial union.
Age: 25 years – 23 March 1988
Vital Statistics: (H) 198 cm (W) 110 kg
Born in Cape Town, this Bishops old boy represented WP at the 2006 u/18 Craven Week, and was selected for the SA Schools B team. In 2007 he was selected to represent the Junior Boks at the IRB u/19 World Championship. After representing WP at u/19 and u/21 level, he also made the Junior Bok team for the inaugural IRB Junior World Championship in 2008. In 2009, after some Varsity Cup rugby for UCT, and Vodacom Cup rugby for WP, Martin made the SA Students team, and made his Super rugby debut with the Stormers. In 2011 he signed with Griquas, and played Super 15 rugby for the Cheetahs (11 matches). He was out for the entire 2012 Super 15, with a long term injury, but after a prominent season of Currie Cup rugby, he will be keen to regain his place as 1st choice No. 5 lock for the Cheetahs.
Age: 25 years – 28 March 1988
Vital Statistics: (H) 197 cm (W) 123 kg
Born in Pretoria, and a product of Affies, Edwin seemed to slip through the schools system undetected.He represented the Leopards at U/19 and u/21 level, and the Pukke, in the Varsity Cup, before signing with Griquas in 2010. Though relatively unknown, Hewitt is highly rated by Griquas coach Pote Human.
Age: 24 years – 11 November 1988
Vital Statistics: (H) 198 cm (W) 112 kg
Born in Bloemfontein, and another Grey’s old boy, Waltie has been in the Cheetahs system since 2006, when he represented Free State at the u/18 Craven Week. Since then he has represented the Cheetahs at u21, Vodacom Cup, Currie Cup and Super rugby (2010). He has 19 Super Rugby caps for the Cheetahs, but due to his studies(medical doctor), he has become the forgotten man outside of the Cheetahs camp. Despite his realtive absence, due to his studies, the Cheetahs coaches are well aware of what waltie offers as a lineout specialist, and he will add valuable depth.
Age: 27 years – 12 March 1986
Vital Statistics: (H) 194 cm (W) 112 kg
Born in Springs, Francois attended Dr. EG Jansen. He represented the Valke at the 2004 u/18 Craven week. In 2005 he was selected for the Junior boks, in the IRB u/19 World Championship. He represented the Lions at u/21, Vodacom Cup, and Currie Cup from 2006 to 2008. In 2009 he was signed by the Cheetahs, and after a few matches of Vodacom Cup, was called up to the Cheetahs Super 14 squad. He has been a regular feature (17 Super Rugby caps) at either lock, flank or 8th man. Uys is a very physical and committed player, and has been the Cheetahs go to man, to provide a spark in the forward exchanges. His versatility makes him an useful squad member.
Bar the unknown quality of young Lood de Jager, who may yet turn out to be the Cheetahs bolter for next year, and the as yet untested Hewitt, it can be expected that Ferreira should start in the No. 4 jersey, with Martin Muller at No. 5. However, anything is possible and Super 15 is sure to take its toll, so the likes Francois Uys, Landman and Waltie Vermeulen will likely be called on for duty. No doubt young Lood, and Hewitt will likely feature during the long season, and stake a claim. Naka has good expierence as backup. With captain Strauss’ accurate lineout throwing, lineouts as such haven’t been the Cheetahs achilles, as much as the lack of grunt in the second row. This looks like a season where this could be resolved.