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Cheetahs

This is the forth in the series of Cheetahs Squad Contenders for Super Rugby 2014. We do 2 articles per week per South African Super Rugby participating franchise.

We discuss the players IN the Super Rugby Group, and not all the options beyond that.

In this Article we look at the contenders for LOOSE FORWARDS in the Toyota Cheetahs 2014 Super Rugby group, and whether they could force their way into Bok contention.

 

 

The Contenders:

Name: Heinrich Wilhelm ” Heinrich” Brüssow:

Position Loose Forward (Openside)
Height 1.81m
Weight 102kg
Date of Birth 21 July 1986
Place of Birth Bloemfontein
Provincial Debut 2006
Provincial Caps 60
Provincial Points 125
Super Rugby Debut 2007
Super Rugby Caps 70
Super Rugby Points 30
Test Debut 2008 v England
Test Caps 20
Test Points 5
 Heinrich Brussow

Heinrich Brüssow is a product of Grey College and the University of the Free State (Shimlas).

Being a son from Bloemfontein, he has played all his rugby for Free State.

In 2008 he was a SA Rugby Young Player of the Year nominee and ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division Player of the Year nominee. He was nominated twice in 2009 as well for SA Rugby Young Player of the Year and Provincial Player of the Castle SA 2009 Lions Series and SA Player of the Year nominee.

Heinrich will aim to prove a point this season, that he is the best Openside Flank in South Africa. He was in very good form before a major injury sidelined him and since then has not been as effective as he was before the injury. The last time he represented the Springboks was back in 2011, something he desperately wants to set right and give the current Springbok coach more to think about.

Brüssow is still a very solid player and one can be sure that he will start most games for the Cheetahs at Openside.

His playing career is as follows:

  • 2004 – Free State – U18 Coca-Cola Craven Week
  • 2005 – Free State - SA Under 19
  • 2006 – Vodacom Cheetahs - Vodacom Cup, Vodacom Free State Cheetahs - ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division
  • 2007 – Vodacom Cheetahs - Vodacom Super 14, Free State - Vodacom Cup, Vodacom Free State Cheetahs - ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division
  • 2008 – Vodacom Cheetahs - Vodacom Super 14, Vodacom FS Cheetahs - ABSA Currie Cup Compulsory Friendlies, Vodacom FS Cheetahs - ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division, Springboks - Vodacom Outgoing Tour
  • 2009 – Vodacom Cheetahs - Vodacom Super 14, Springboks - British & Irish Lions Tour, Vodacom Free State Cheetahs - British & Irish Lions Tour, Vodacom Free State Cheetahs - ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division, Springboks - Vodacom Tri-Nations, Springboks - Vodacom Outgoing Tours
  • 2010 – Vodacom Cheetahs - Vodacom Super 14, Vodacom Free State Cheetahs - ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division
  • 2011 – Springboks - Castle Tri-Nations, Toyota Free State Cheetahs - Vodacom Cup, Toyota Cheetahs - Vodacom Super Rugby, Toyota Free State Cheetahs - ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division, Springboks - IRB Rugby World Cup
  • 2012 – Toyota Cheetahs - Vodacom Super Rugby, Toyota Free State Cheetahs - ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division
  • 2013 – Cheetahs - Vodacom Super Rugby, NTT Docomo Red Hurricanes in Japan

 

Name: Pieter Hermias Cornelius “Lappies” Labuchagne:

Position Loose Forward (Blindside)
Height 1.89m
Weight 104kg
Date of Birth 11 January 1989
Place of Birth Pretoria
Provincial Debut 2011
Provincial Caps 42
Provincial Points 50
Super Rugby Debut 2012
Super Rugby Caps 19
Super Rugby Points 10
Test Debut
Test Caps 0
Test Points 0
 Lappies Labuschagne

Lappies Labuchagne is a product of Schweizer-Reneke Primary, Grey College and University of the Free State (Shimlas).

The only connection that Labuchagne has with any other province than the Free State was to be born in Pretoria. He played at Under 18 level for the Cheetahs in 2007 and his big break came in 2011 when he represented the Cheetahs in the Compulsory Currie Cup Friendlies, which earned him a call-up to represent the Cheetahs in the ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division, which in turn later resulted in his regular Super Rugby inclusion in 2012.

Labuchagne has most certainly carved a big mark in the Cheetahs squad and is very likely to start most Super Rugby games this season at Blindside Flank. A lot of people felt that he should have been included in the Springbok squad in 2013 but this has not happened. Could 2014 be his season?

His playing career is as follows:

  • 2007 – Free State - U18 Coca-Cola Craven Week
  • 2008 – South Africa – SA Schools Academy, Free State - ABSA Under 19 Competition
  • 2009 - Free State - ABSA Under 19 Competition, Shimlas – Varsity Cup, Free State - ABSA Under 21 Competition
  • 2010 – Shimlas – Varsity Cup, Free State - ABSA Under 21 Competition
  • 2011 – Toyota Free State Cheetahs - Vodacom Cup, Shimlas – Varsity Cup, Emerging Cheetahs - ABSA Currie Cup Compulsory friendlies, Toyota Free State Cheetahs - ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division
  • 2012 – Shimlas – Varsity Cup, Toyota Cheetahs - Vodacom Super Rugby, Toyota Free State XV - Vodacom Cup, Toyota Free State Cheetahs - ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division, Toyota Free State Cheetahs - ABSA Currie Cup Promotion / Relegation
  • 2013 – Toyota Cheetahs - Vodacom Super Rugby, Springbok non-playing squad member - Castle Incoming Series, Toyota Free State Cheetahs - ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division

 

Name: Johannes Gerhardus “Boom” Prinsloo:

Position Loose Forward (No 8)
Height 1.84m
Weight 104kg
Date of Birth 12 March 1989
Place of Birth Bloemfontein
Provincial Debut 2010
Provincial Caps 35
Provincial Points 70
Super Rugby Debut 2012
Super Rugby Caps 13
Super Rugby Points 5
Test Debut
Test Caps 0
Test Points 0
 Boom Prinsloo

Boom Prinsloo is a product of Grey College and Shimlas.

Like most players in the Cheetahs squad, Prinsloo has deep roots i the Free State. He first represented the Cheetahs at under 18 level in 2007. He has also become quite a well known face on the Blitzbokke’s HSBC Sevens World Series circuit where he has represented the Blitzbokke on 7 occasions.

Prinsloo finds himself in a team with a lot of loose forward talent. He will most likely get some game time, but should be a bench warmer for most of the season.

His playing career is as follows:

  • 2007 – Free State - U18 Coca-Cola Craven Week
  • 2008 – Free State - ABSA Under 19 Competition
  • 2009 – Shimlas – Varsity Cup, Free State - ABSA Under 21 Competition
  • 2010 – Shimlas – Varsity Cup, Free State - Vodacom Cup, Vodacom Free State Cheetahs - ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division, Free State - ABSA Under 21 Competition, Blitzbokke - HSBC Sevens World Series Dubai & George (SA)
  • 2011 – Emerging Cheetahs - ABSA Currie Cup Compulsory Friendlies, Toyota Free State Cheetahs - ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division, Blitzbokke - HSBC Sevens World Series
  • 2012 – Blitzbokke - HSBC Sevens World Series in New Zealand & SA & USA (Las Vegas), Toyota Cheetahs - Vodacom Super Rugby, Blitzbokke - HSBC Sevens World Series in Hong Kong & Tokyo, Toyota Free State Cheetahs - ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division
  • 2013 – Toyota Cheetahs - Lions Challenge, Toyota Free State XV - Vodacom Cup, Shimlas – Varsity Cup, Toyota Cheetahs - Vodacom Super Rugby, Toyota Free State Cheetahs - ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division

 

Name: Christoffel Philuppus “Phillip” van der Walt:

Position Loose Forward (No 8)
Height 1.94m
Weight 108kg
Date of Birth 14 July 1989
Place of Birth Adelaide
Provincial Debut 2010
Provincial Caps 32
Provincial Points 25
Super Rugby Debut 2011
Super Rugby Caps 41
Super Rugby Points 15
Test Debut
Test Caps 0
Test Points 0
 Phillip van der Walt

Phillip van der Walt is a product of Adelaide Primary, Adelaide Gymnasium and University of Free State (Shimlas).

Van der Walt first represented Eastern Province at Under 18 level in 2006 from where he moved on to represent the Cheetahs at Under 19 level in 2008, from where he has only grown in form.

Van der Walt has become a regular inclusion at the Cheetahs and a huge crowd favourite. He has shown tremendous form the last couple of season and will be giving 100% in 2014 with the hopes of a Springbok call-up.

There is no doubt that Van der Walt will be the starting No 8 for the Cheetahs.

His playing career is as follows:

  • 2006 – Eastern Province CD - U18 Academy Week
  • 2007 – Eastern Province - U18 Coca-Cola Craven Week
  • 2008 – Free State - ABSA Under 19 Competition
  • 2009 – Free State - ABSA Under 21 Competition
  • 2010 – Free State - Vodacom Cup, Vodacom Free State Cheetahs - ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division, Free State - ABSA Under 21 Competition
  • 2011 – Toyota Cheetahs - Vodacom Super Rugby, Toyota Free State Cheetahs - ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division, Tasol Solar Griffons - ABSA Currie Cup First Divsion
  • 2012 – Toyota Cheetahs - Vodacom Super Rugby, Toyota Free State Cheetahs - ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division, Toyota Free State Cheetahs - ABSA Currie Cup Promotion / Relegation
  • 2013 – Toyota Cheetahs - Vodacom Super Rugby, Toyota Free State Cheetahs - ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division

 

Name: Jean George “Jean” Cook:

Position Loose Forward
Height 1.94m
Weight 106kg
Date of Birth 14 August 1991
Place of Birth Pietermaritzburg
Provincial Debut 2011
Provincial Caps 18
Provincial Points 15
Super Rugby Debut 2013
Super Rugby Caps 1
Super Rugby Points 5
Test Debut
Test Caps 0
Test Points 0
 Jean Cook

Jean Cook is a product of Grey College Primary, Grey College and Central University of Technology (CUT).

Cook started his career with the Cheetahs back in 2007 at Under 16 level and went on from there to represent the Cheetahs at Under 18 and Under 19 levels. He finally had his taste of professional rugby in 2011 when he represented the Free State Cheetahs in the Vodacom Cup. From there he went on to represent the Blue Bulls in the Vodacom Cup in 2012, where he was later promoted to the Currie Cup Premier Division side. He made his first appearance in Super Rugby in 2013 for the Bulls.

Cook now finds himself back at the Cheetahs. He will be hoping for some game time this season. He is however the lowest capped Super Rugby player in the squad’s loose forward division. He will not be the first choice in this side to start with but it is a long season and with rotation becoming a must in Super Rugby, he will give 110% when given the chance.

His playing career is as follows:

  • 2007 – Free State - U16 Coca-Cola Grant Khomo Week
  • 2008 – South Africa U18 Elite Squad - Elite Squads, Konica Minolta Free State - U18 Coca-Cola Craven Week
  • 2009 – Free State - U18 Coca-Cola Craven Week, South Africa – SA U/19 High Performance, South Africa – SA Schools U/19
  • 2010 – Free State - ABSA Under 19 Competition
  • 2011 – CUT – Varsity Shield, Toyota Free State Cheetahs - Vodacom Cup, South Africa - IRB Junior World Championships, Free State - ABSA Under 21 Competition
  • 2012 – Vodacom Blue Bulls - Vodacom Cup, Blue Bulls - ABSA Under 21 Competition, Vodacom Blue Bulls - ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division
  • 2013 – Vodacom Blue Bulls - Vodacom Cup, Tuks – Varsity Cup, Vodacom Bulls - Vodacom Super Rugby, Vodacom Blue Bulls - ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division

 

Name: Marnus Schoeman:

Position Loose Forward (Openside)
Height 1.80m
Weight 100kg
Date of Birth 9 February 1989
Place of Birth Edenvale
Provincial Debut 2009
Provincial Caps 53
Provincial Points 140
Super Rugby Debut
Super Rugby Caps 0
Super Rugby Points 0
Test Debut
Test Caps 0
Test Points 0
 Marnus Schoeman

Marnus Schoeman is a product of Van Riebeeck Park Primary School, Waterkloof High School and University of Pretoria.

Schoeman started his career in 2005 for the Blue Bulls at U/16 level. Although he does not have any Super Rugby experience he has been around the block. He represented the Blue Bulls from 2005 up until 2011, during this period he also represented TUKS in 2009, 2010 and 2011 and was also part of the Junior Springbok side in 2009. In 2011 he made a move to the Griquas and has represented them ever since, he represented the Cheetahs in the 2013 Lions Challenge.

Like most players from the Griquas, Schoeman is known as a physical and hard running loose forward, this would also be the reason as to how he has scored 140 points in 53 appearances.

Schoeman will most likely not see too much game time at the Cheetahs, he is however a very capable Openside replacement and would do good in any circumstance.

His playing career is as follows:

  • 2005 – Blue Bulls - U16 Coca Cola Grant Khomo Week
  • 2006 – South Africa – SA Schools U/18, Blue Bulls - U18 Coca Cola Craven Week
  • 2007 – Blue Bulls - U18 Coca-Cola Craven Week, South Africa - SA Schools, Vodacom Blue Bulls - ABSA Under 19 Competition
  • 2008 – Vodacom Blue Bulls - ABSA Under 19 Competition
  • 2009 – Blue Bulls - Vodacom Cup, Tuks – Varsity Cup, South Africa - IRB Junior World Championships, Blue Bulls - ABSA Under 21 Competition
  • 2010 – Tuks – Varsity Cup, Blue Bulls - Vodacom Cup, Blue Bulls - ABSA Under 21 Competition
  • 2011 – Vodacom Blue Bulls - Vodacom Cup, Tuks – Varsity Cup, Vodacom Blue Bulls - ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division, GWK Griquas - ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division
  • 2012 – GWK Griquas - Vodacom Cup, GWK Griquas - ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division
  • 2013 – Toyota Cheetahs - Lions Challenge, GWK Griquas - Vodacom Cup, GWK Griquas - ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division, GWK Griquas - ABSA Currie Cup Promotion / Relegation

 

Name: Carel Frederik Kirsten “Carel” Greeff:

Position Loose Forward
Height 1.84m
Weight 105kg
Date of Birth 20 May 1990
Place of Birth Klerksdorp
Provincial Debut 2011
Provincial Caps 9
Provincial Points 15
Super Rugby Debut
Super Rugby Caps 0
Super Rugby Points 0
Test Debut
Test Caps 0
Test Points 0
 Carel Greeff

Carel Greeff is a product of Meiringspark Primary School, Schoonspruit High School and WITS.

Greeff started his career at the Leopards back in 2006 when he represented them at U/16 level. He went on to represent the Leopards at U/18 level in 2007 and 2008 before he moved Sharks in 2009 where he represented them at U/19 level. In 2011 he joined the Lions where he played in the ABSA Currie Cup Compulsory Friendlies and U/21 Competition. In 2013 he made his move to the Griquas.

Greeff will in all cases be last in the pecking order for loose forward selection and if he does see any game time in Super Rugby it will come as a big surprise.

His playing career is as follows:

  • 2006 – Leopards - U16 Coca Cola Grant Khomo Week
  • 2007 – Leopards - U18 Academy Week
  • 2008 – South Africa – U/18 Elite Squads, Leopards - U18 Coca-Cola Craven Week
  • 2009 – Sharks - ABSA Under 19 Competition
  • 2011 – MTN Golden Lions XV - ABSA Currie Cup Compulsory Friendlies, Lions - ABSA Under 21 Competition
  • 2013 – Wits – Varsity Cup, GWK Griquas - ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division, GWK Griquas - ABSA Currie Cup Promotion / Relegation

 

Starters:

The Cheetahs starting trio at loose forward is quite a no-brainer, with Heinrich Brüssow at Openside (No 6), Lappies Labuchagne at Blindside (No 7) and Phillip van der Walt at No 8,  with Boom Prinsloo on the bench.

Having said that, I do think that the Cheetahs have a good enough set of loose forwards to apply some rotation and it should give Jean Cook some game time as he will be hungry to show that he can play big stage rugby.

 

The next Article in the range will deal with the Cheetahs scrumhalves.

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