Much needed good news for Cheetahs fans came from the Cheetahs camp, following the shock retirement of star bok flanker Juan Smith. Coenie Osthuizen, who has been recovering from back and neck injuries, was cleared for scrummaging sessions and came through unscathed. Furthermore, flyhalf sensation Johan Goosen has also been cleared to start after receiving treatment for a troublesome heel. Word is that he could have played against the Bulls but the coaches opted to rather rest him.
This will hearten Cheetahs supporters, who were still shell shocked after JuanSmith’s shock retirement. The country as a whole were all looking forward to the big man’s contribution. The plaudits have been streaming in from the world over. The scrums sans Coenie have been a bit suspect and Naka will be crossing all fingers that he remains fit. The loss of Juan is significant, as even after a two year absence, the physicality he brought in his two short stints showed the value of the man to the Cheetahs. Frans Viljoen, though able cover, is not Juan Smith. He will now be vital to the Cheetahs campaign. No replacement flanker has been drafted in and Naka Drotske still believes his depth in the squad is better than ever before.