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Herewith the Toyota Cheetahs Super Rugby players expected to take part in the 2014 Super Rugby season, as detailed by us PRIOR to the 2014 Super Rugby season.

Some of these players might not actually make the Super Rugby squad, but at this early juncture is most likely to be in the Toyota Cheetahs plans for 2014.

 

Props:

Name: Coenie Oosthuizen:

Position Prop
Height 1.83
Weight 127
Date of Birth March 22 1989
Place of Birth Potchefstroom
Provincial Debut 2008
Provincial Caps 52
Provincial Points 55
Super Rugby Debut 2010
Super Rugby Caps 57
Super Rugby Points 40
Test Debut 2012 v England
Test Caps 14
Test Points 10
Coenie Oosthuizen

Oosthuizen has become a expected name in the Springbok group, this has however come at a price where he has to play at tighthead prop instead of his regular loosehead spot.

Oosthuizen has proven the last couple of seasons that he is a force in world rugby and with ball in hand will try and run over basically any opposition player. Oosthuizen is solid in the scrum and does a good job at clearing out at ruck time.

A possible shift to tighead this season could be the move to cement his spot as starting tighthead for the Springboks.

 

Name: Trevor Nyakane:

Position Prop
Height 1.78
Weight 110 kg
Date of Birth May 4 1989
Place of Birth Bushbuckridge
Provincial Debut 2010
Provincial Caps 39
Provincial Points 10
Super Rugby Debut 2012
Super Rugby Caps 27
Super Rugby Points 10
Test Debut 2013 v Italy
Test Caps 3
Test Points 5
Trevor Nyakane

Nyakane has become a favourite at the Cheetahs with his willingness and eagerness during game time.

Nyakane made his debut earlier this season for the Springboks but was left out of the squad due to poor discipline. He is a solid player with his only downfall being his pace.

If Oosthuizen does start at tighthead this could see Nyakane cement his place as loosehead prop for the Cheetahs with hopes of a Springbok recall.

 

Name: Caylib Oosthuizen:

Position Prop
Height 1.86
Weight 114 kg
Date of Birth September 1 1989
Place of Birth Cape Town
Provincial Debut 2011
Provincial Caps 10
Provincial Points 0
Super Rugby Debut 2012
Super Rugby Caps 6
Super Rugby Points 5
Test Debut
Test Caps 0
Test Points 0
Caylib Oosthuizen

Born in Cape Town, Caylib started representative rugby with SWD in 2007 at the Academy week, and was also part of the SA Schools Academy team. He was signed by the Lions after being spotted in the Varsity Cup. He was selected for the 2009 Junior Bok squad, for the IRB Junior World Championship. Having already played Currie Cup and Super rugby with the MTN Lions, Caylib is sure to benefit from more mentorship from Os du Randt.

He is a good and solid replacement, which we have seen in the Currie Cup where he has shown that he is able to scrum and run with the ball.

It is unlikely that Oosthuizen will lift either Nyakane or Coenie Oosthuizen from the starting lineup, as a replacement however he could make an impact at the Cheetahs and could see some regular game time off the bench.

 

Name: Rossouw de Klerk:

Position Prop
Height 1.86
Weight 118
Date of Birth August 21 1989
Place of Birth Vredenburg
Provincial Debut 2009
Provincial Caps 48
Provincial Points 5
Super Rugby Debut 2010
Super Rugby Caps 14
Super Rugby Points 0
Test Debut
Test Caps 0
Test Points 0
Rossouw de Klerk

Born in Vredenburg, and a product of Paarl Gymnasium, Rossouw represented WP at the U/16 Grant Khomo week in 2005. He then moved to the Bulls straight out of school, and has represented the Bulls at U/21, Vodacom Cup, Currie Cup and Super Rugby.

De Klerk moved from the Bulls to the Cheetahs in 2013. De Klerk is the obvious choice for the Cheetahs at tighthead prop as he is the only experienced tighthead in the squad.

If Coenie Oosthuizen if not played at tighthead then De Klerk will most likely be a regular feature for the Cheetahs this season.

 

Name: Nick Schonert:

Position Prop
Height 1.89
Weight 118
Date of Birth September 20 1991
Place of Birth Durban
Provincial Debut 2012
Provincial Caps 19
Provincial Points 0
Super Rugby Debut
Super Rugby Caps 0
Super Rugby Points 0
Test Debut
Test Caps 0
Test Points 0
Nick Schonert

Schonert previously played his youth rugby with the Sharks and made one appearance for them during the 2012 Vodacom Cup. He then joined Griquas during the 2013 Vodacom Cup, making 6 appearances.

He was a member of the Junior Springboks Under 20 team that played in the 2011 IRB Junior World Championship and was also named in a South African Barbarians team to face Saracens.

He has made quite an impact, for him to be included in the Cheetah Super Rugby squad this year.

He is a recognized tighthead prop, which could see him get some game time as he is one of only two recognized tightheads in the squad. This will however depend on where Coenie Oosthuizen is played and deployed.

 

Starters:

The Cheetahs have a three to two split this year with 3 recognised looseheads and 2 tightheads or if you see Coenie Oosthuizen as a tighthead, then 2 looseheads and 3 tightheads.

The Cheethas are likely to use Trevor Nyakane as starting loosehead prop and Coenie Oosthuizen as tighthead, with Caylib Oosthuizen and Rossouw de Klerk on the bench.

It was made clear this season that Heyneke Meyer has plans for Coenie Oosthuizen at tighthead for the Springboks and I think the Cheetahs will follow suit in collaboration with the Springboks.

Many believe Coenie Oosthuizen’s experiment at tighthead is a failed one, and logic amongst them would dictate that Coenie Oosthuizen starts at loosehead, with Rossouw de Klerk at tighthead.

 

Hookers:

Name: Jan Adriaan “Adriaan” Strauss:

Position Hooker
Height 1.84
Weight 111
Date of Birth November 18 1985
Place of Birth Bloemfontein
Provincial Debut 2005
Provincial Caps 76
Provincial Points 70
Super Rugby Debut 2006
Super Rugby Caps 91
Super Rugby Points 45
Test Debut 2008 v Australia
Test Caps 33
Test Points 25
Adriaan Strauss

Adriaan Strauss is one of the two current Springbok regular number 2’s. He has shown the last couple of seasons why he is so highly rated as a hooker and much will be expected from him in the 2014 season.

The Cheetahs are the squad that most likely have the most experienced bunch of hookers in the South African conference, with all three hookers boasting quite a number of provincial caps. It is doubtfull that these other two will be able to lift Strauss from the Cheetahs starting lineup.

Strauss had a tremendous season in 2013, both on provincial and international level and has also given Bismarck du Plessis a good run for a Springbok starting berth at hooker.

His playing career is as follows:

  • 2004 – South Africa IRB U19 World Championships, Blue Bulls ABSA U20 Competition Section A
  • 2005 – Vodacom Blue Bulls Vodacom Cup, Blue Bulls ABSA Currie Cup Qualifying Round, Blue Bulls ABSA Under 21 Competition, Blue Bulls ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division
  • 2006 – Vodacom Bulls Vodacom Super 14, Vodacom Blue Bulls Vodacom Cup, South Africa IRB Under 21 World Championship, Vodacom Blue Bulls ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division
  • 2007 – Vodacom Cheetahs Vodacom Super 14, Vodacom Free State Cheetahs ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division
  • 2008 – Vodacom Cheetahs Vodacom Super 14, South Africa Vodacom Incoming Tours, Vodacom FS Cheetahs Absa Currie Cup Compulsory Friendlies, Vodacom FS Cheetahs ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division
  • 2009 – Vodacom Cheetahs Vodacom Super 14, Vodacom Free State Cheetahs British & Irish Lions Tour, Vodacom Free State Cheetahs Absa Currie Cup Compulsory Friendlies, Vodacom Free State Cheetahs ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division, South Africa Vodacom Outgoing Tours
  • 2010 – Vodacom Cheetahs Vodacom Super 14, Vodacom Free state Cheetahs ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division, Springboks Outgoing Tours
  • 2011 – South Africa Castle Tri-Nations, Toyota Cheetahs Vodacom Super Rugby, Toyota Free State Cheetahs ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division
  • 2012 – Toyota Cheetahs Vodacom Super Rugby, South Africa Castle Incoming Tours, Toyota Free State Cheetahs ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division, South Africa The Castle Rugby Championship, Toyota Free State Cheetahs ABSA Currie Cup Promotion / Relegation, South Africa Castle Outgoing Tours
  • 2013 – Cheetahs Vodacom Super Rugby, South Africa Castle Lager Incoming Series, Toyota Free State Cheetahs Absa Currie Cup Premier Division, South Africa The Castle Lager Rugby Championship, South Africa Castle Lager Outgoing Tour

 

Name: Herculaas Johannes “Hercu” Liebenberg:

Position Hooker
Height 1.78
Weight 106 kg
Date of Birth May 16 1986
Place of Birth Potmasburg
Provincial Debut 2006
Provincial Caps 78
Provincial Points 5
Super Rugby Debut 2012
Super Rugby Caps 6
Super Rugby Points 0
Test Debut
Test Caps 0
Test Points 0
Hercu Liebenberg

Hercu Liebenberg has not had much game time in Super Rugby, he has however been around the block in the Vodacom Cup, Currie Cup and a brief stint for the French club Aurillac in 2008.

Much like his older brother at the Stormers (Tiaan Liebenberg) he is not shy to the physical part of rugby and will never back down from a challenge.

He finds himself in a Super Rugby side with quite some talent at hooker and under the circumstances will most likely be the 3rd choice for starter behind Strauss and Barnes.

His playing career is as follows:

  • 2004 – Free State U18 Coca-Cola Craven Week
  • 2005 – Free State Under 19
  • 2006 – Free State ABSA Under 21 Competition, Vodacom Cheetahs Vodacom Cup
  • 2007 – Free State Vodacom Cup, Vodacom Free State Cheetahs ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division
  • 2008 – Shimlas Varsity Cup, Free State Vodacom Cup, Griffons Absa Currie Cup Compulsory Friendlies, Vodacom FS Cheetahs ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division, Griffons ABSA Currie Cup First Division
  • 2009 – Mighty Elephants ABSA Currie Cup First Division
  • 2010 – Free State Vodacom Cup
  • 2011 – Toyota Free State Cheetahs Vodacom Cup, Shimlas Varsity Cup, Emerging Cheetahs Absa Currie Cup Compulsory friendlies, Griffons ABSA Currie Cup First Division, Toyota Freestate Cheetahs ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division
  • 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 Lions Challenge, Toyota Free State XV Vodacom Cup, Toyota Cheetahs Vodacom Super Rugby, Toyota Free State Cheetahs Absa Currie Cup Premier Division

 

Name: Ryno Joseph “Ryno” Barnes:

Position Hooker
Height 1.85
Weight 110 kg
Date of Birth November 5 1981
Place of Birth Cape Town
Provincial Debut 2006
Provincial Caps 136
Provincial Points 70
Super Rugby Debut 2010
Super Rugby Caps 29
Super Rugby Points 0
Test Debut
Test Caps 0
Test Points 0
Ryno Barnes

Barnes is quite a seasoned hooker in South Africa and is currently the first choice hooker for the Griquas. He did not start his career at Griquas, he made his provincial debut for Western Province back in 2006, from where he moved up to the Falcons for two seasons and then from there down back to the Griquas where he is currently applying his trade.

Barnes is a solid replacement and will most likely be the regular replacement for first choice hooker Adriaan Strauss. He is also not shy of contact and will always step up to the plate when his number is called up and give 100%.

His playing career is as follows:

  • 2005 – SA Amatures
  • 2006 – Vodacom WP Vodacom Cup
  • 2007 – Valke Vodacom Cup, Valke ABSA Currie Cup Qualifiers, Valke ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division
  • 2008 – Valke Absa Currie Cup Promotion / Relegation, Valke ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division, Valke Vodacom Cup
  • 2009 – GWK Griquas Vodacom Cup, Royal XV British & Irish Lions Tour, GWK Griquas Absa Currie Cup Compulsory Friendlies, GWK Griquas ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division
  • 2010 – Vodacom Cheetahs Vodacom Super 14, Griquas Vodacom Cup, GWK Griquas Absa Currie Cup Compulsory Friendlies, GWK Griquas ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division
  • 2011 – GWK Griquas Vodacom Cup, Toyota Cheetahs Vodacom Super Rugby
  • 2012 – GWK Griquas Vodacom Cup, Toyota Cheetahs Vodacom Super Rugby
  • 2013 – GWK Griquas Vodacom Cup, Toyota Cheetahs Vodacom Super Rugby

 

Starters:

The Cheetahs are most likely the side with the most experience on paper when it comes to their hookers. They also have one of the current Springbok hookers in their side.

It is very unlikely that any hooker will start ahead of Adriaan Strauss, with Ryno Barnes on the bench. We could see this combination throughout the whole season with the exception of when injuries occur. Liebenberg wil most probably get some game time, but is unlikely to be a regular in the match-day squad.

 

Locks:

Name: Lodewyk “Lood” de Jager:

Position Lock
Height 2.05m
Weight 125kg
Date of Birth 17 December 1992
Place of Birth Alberton
Provincial Debut 2012
Provincial Caps 11
Provincial Points 0
Super Rugby Debut 2013
Super Rugby Caps 17
Super Rugby Points 0
Test Debut
Test Caps 0
Test Points 0
Lodewyk De Jager

Lood is a product of Jan van Riebeeck Primary School, Hugenote High School in Springs and North-West University (Pukke).

He played at youth level for the Leopards and also played for Potchefstroom-based university side NWU-Pukke.

In 2012, he was included in the Leopards’ Currie Cup squad, but failed to make an appearance. Yet, his performances in the 2012 Under-21 Currie Cup earned him a move to the Free State Cheetahs and he was included in the Cheetahs final squad for the 2013 Super Rugby season.

De Jager has made quite an impact since making his debut for the Cheetahs in the 2013 Super Rugby season.

He is most likely to continue where he left off. The Cheetahs do however have quite a bit of experience in their lock division so it would seem that no one player will have to much margin for error.

Young De Jager can expect to see quite a bit of game time should he display the same form as in the 2013 season.

His playing career is as follows:

  • 2011 – Leopard – ABSA Under 19 Competition
  • 2012 – Pukke – Varsity Cup, Leopards – ABSA Currie Cup First Div, Platinum Leopards – ABSA Under 21 Competition
  • 2013 – Toyota Cheetahs – Lions Challenge, Cheetahs – Vodacom Super Rugby, Toyota Free State Cheetahs – ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division

 

Name: Andries Stephanus “Andries” Ferreira:

Position Lock
Height 1.97m
Weight 120kg
Date of Birth 29 March 1990
Place of Birth Despatch
Provincial Debut 2011
Provincial Caps 7
Provincial Points 5
Super Rugby Debut 2012
Super Rugby Caps 14
Super Rugby Points 5
Test Debut
Test Caps 0
Test Points 0
Andries Ferreira

Andries is a product of Sonop Primary School, Afrikaans Hoër Seunsskool (Affies) and University of Pretoria (Tuks).

After school he joined the Blue Bulls although he didn’t make any senior appearances for them. In search of top-level rugby, he moved to Bloemfontein to join the Cheetahs in 2012. He made 14 appearances during the 2012 Super Rugby season, his first for the franchise before an injury curtailed his season. The subsequent emergence of former Leopards lock, Lood de Jager, has seen him spend time playing for the Free State Cheetahs in the Vodacom Cup as well as having a spell on loan at the Griffons.

Ferreira is most likely the most unknown of all the locks at the Cheetahs.

He will most likely see some game time but not nearly as much as the other locks in the side.

His playing career is as follows:

  • 2005 – Eastern Province – U16 Coca Cola Grant Khomo Week
  • 2006 – Eastern Province – U16 Coca Cola Grant Khomo Week
  • 2008 – U18 Elite Squad – Elite Squads, SA Schools, Vodacom Blue Bulls – U18 Coca-Cola Craven Week – 2008, Vodacom Blue Bulls U19 – ABSA Under 19 Competition – 2008, Mpumalanga – ABSA Under 21 Competition
  • 2009 – Blue Bulls – ABSA Under 21 Competition, Blue Bulls – SA Under 19 Competition
  • 2010 – Tuks – Varsity Cup, Blue Bulls – ABSA Under 21 Competition
  • 2011 – Vodacom Blue Bulls – Vodacom Cup, TUT – Varsity Cup
  • 2012 – Toyota Cheetahs – Vodacom Super Rugby, Toyota Free State Cheetahs – ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division
  • 2013 – Toyota Free State XV – Vodacom Cup, Toyota Cheetahs – Vodacom Super Rugby, Down Touch Griffons – ABSA Currie Cup First Division, Toyota Free State Cheetahs – ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division

 

Name: Rynard Jaco “Ligtoring” Landman:

Position Lock
Height 1.96m
Weight 114kg
Date of Birth 24 July 1986
Place of Birth East London
Provincial Debut 2008
Provincial Caps 77
Provincial Points 65
Super Rugby Debut 2009
Super Rugby Caps 16
Super Rugby Points 0
Test Debut
Test Caps 0
Test Points 0
Ligtoring Landman

Ligtoring Landman is a product of Sonop Primary School, Despatch High School and North-West University (Pukke).

He played his youth rugby with the Leopards and that’s where he began his senior rugby career. He played more than 40 games for the Potchefstroom based side before joining the Boland Cavaliers in 2011. He only spent one season in Wellington before moving to the Griquas in 2012. Strong performances in the local Vodacom Cup and Currie Cup competitions allied to injuries to Martin Muller and Andries Ferreira saw him become an important member of the Cheetahs team that reached the play-offs in the 2013 Super Rugby season.

Landman has become a familiar face at the Cheetahs and Griquas respectively. He is a hard player and will always give 100% when his number is called up.

Under the circumstances at the Cheetahs one would think that Landman will be a regular bench player behind Lood de Jager and Francois Uys.

His playing career is as follows:

  • 2004 – Eastern province – U18 Coca-Cola Craven Week
  • 2005 – Leopards – SA Under 19
  • 2006 – Leopards – ABSA Under 21 Competition
  • 2007 – Leopards U/21 – ABSA Under 21 Competition
  • 2008 – Platinum Leopards – Absa Currie Cup Promotion / Relegation, Platinum Leopards – Vodacom Cup, Profert Platinum Leopards – ABSA Currie Cup First Division
  • 2009 – Platinum Leopards – Vodacom Cup, Auto & General Lions – Vodacom Super 14, Royal XV – British & Irish Lions Tour, Platinum Leopards – ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division, Leopards – ABSA Currie Cup Promotion / Relegation
  • 2010 – Platinum Leopards – Vodacom Cup, Platinum Leopards – ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division
  • 2011 – Leopards – Vodacom Cup, Pukke – Varsity Cup, Boland Cavaliers – ABSA Currie Cup Compulsory friendlies, Regent Boland Cavaliers – ABSA Currie Cup First Division
  • 2012 – GWK Griquas – Vodacom Cup, GWK Griquas – ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division
  • 2013 – Toyota Cheetahs – Lions Challenge, GWK Griquas – Vodacom Cup, Toyota Cheetahs – Vodacom Super Rugby, GWK Griquas – ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division, GWK Griquas – ABSA Currie Cup Promotion / Relegation

 

Name: Francois Uys:

Position Lock
Height 1.94m
Weight 110kg
Date of Birth 12 October 1986
Place of Birth Springs
Provincial Debut 2006
Provincial Caps 94
Provincial Points 30
Super Rugby Debut 2009
Super Rugby Caps 33
Super Rugby Points 0
Test Debut
Test Caps 0
Test Points 0
Francois Uys

Francois Uys is a product of Die Arend Primary School in Brakpan, Dr EG Jansen High School and University of Johannesburg (UJ).

He started his senior career in Johannesburg with the Golden Lions but, he found first-team opportunities hard to come by and in 2009 he switched to the Free State Cheetahs. Initially he played mainly in the Vodacom Cup and Currie Cup competitions and even had a spell on loan at the Griffons in 2012. He made sporadic appearances for the senior Cheetahs team in Super Rugby after his debut in 2009 before finally nailing down a regular starting berth during the 2013 Super Rugby season.

Uys was a member of the South Africa Under 19 side that competed in the 2005 IRB Under 19 World Championship.

Uys has been around the block for the Cheetahs and has become a well known face in SA Rugby.

Uys will most likely be one of the starting locks due to his consistent performances.

His playing career is as follows:

  • 2004 – Falcons – U18 Coca-Cola Craven Week
  • 2005 – South Africa – IRB U19 World Championships, Golden Lions – SA Under 19
  • 2006 – Golden Lions – ABSA Under 21 Competition, Lions – Vodacom Cup
  • 2007 – Lions – Vodacom Cup, Golden Lions – ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division, Golden Lions – ABSA Under 21 Competition
  • 2008 – Golden Lions – Vodacom Cup, Xerox Lions – ABSA Currie Cup Compulsory Friendlies, Xerox Lions – ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division
  • 2009 – Free State – Vodacom Cup, Vodacom Cheetahs – Vodacom Super 14, Vodacom Free State Cheetahs – British & Irish Lions Tour, Vodacom Free State Cheetahs – ABSA Currie Cup Compulsory Friendlies, Vodacom Free State Cheetahs – ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division
  • 2010 – Free State – Vodacom Cup, Vodacom Free State Cheetahs – ABSA Currie Cup Compulsory Friendlies, Griffons – ABSA Currie Cup First Division, Vodacom Free State Cheetahs – ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division
  • 2011 – Toyota Cheetahs – Vodacom Super Rugby, Emerging Cheetahs – ABSA Currie Cup Compulsory friendlies, Toyota Free State Cheetahs – ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division
  • 2012 – Toyota Cheetahs – Vodacom Super Rugby, Toyota Free State XV – Vodacom Cup, Griffons – ABSA Currie Cup First Division, Toyota Free State Cheetahs – ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division, Toyota Free State Cheetahs – ABSA Currie Cup Promotion / Relegation
  • 2013 – Toyota Cheetahs – Lions Challenge, Toyota Cheetahs – Vodacom Super Rugby, Toyota Free State Cheetahs – ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division

 

Name: Petrus Van Der Walt “Waltie” Vermeulen:

Position Lock
Height 1.98m
Weight 110kg
Date of Birth 11 November 1988
Place of Birth Bloemfontein
Provincial Debut 2009
Provincial Caps 49
Provincial Points 0
Super Rugby Debut 2010
Super Rugby Caps 23
Super Rugby Points 5
Test Debut
Test Caps 0
Test Points 0
Waltie Vermeulen

Waltie Vermeulen is a product of Hopetown Primary School, Grey College in Bloemfontein and University of the Free State (Kovsies).

He has come through the Free State junior ranks from Under 18 to Under 21 levels.

Vermeulen will most likely be seen as the 4th pick for the locks at the Cheetahs.

He will see some game time but is still quite low on in the pecking order.

His playing career is as follows:

  • 2006 – Free State – U18 Coca Cola Craven Week
  • 2008 – Free State u21 – ABSA Under 21 Competition
  • 2009 – Free State – Vodacom Cup, Vodacom Free State Cheetahs – ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division, Free State – ABSA Under 21 Competition
  • 2010 – Vodacom Cheetahs – Vodacom Super 14, Vodacom Free State Cheetahs – ABSA Currie Cup Compulsory Friendlies, Vodacom Free State Cheetahs – ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division
  • 2011 – Toyota Free State Cheetahs – Vodacom Cup, Toyota Cheetahs – Vodacom Super Rugby, Toyota Free State Cheetahs – ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division
  • 2012 – Toyota Cheetahs – Vodacom Super Rugby, Toyota Free State XV – Vodacom Cup, Toyota Free State Cheetahs – ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division
  • 2013 – Toyota Cheetahs – Lions Challenge, Toyota Free State XV – Vodacom Cup, Toyota Cheetahs – Vodacom Super Rugby, Toyota Free State Cheetahs – ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division

 

Starters:

The Cheetahs have quite number of good locks to pick from. All of their locks have Super Rugby experience, which makes prediction of selections tricky. The plus point one can take out of this is the fact that there will be no margin for error this season amongst the Cheetahs locks, due to the depth on the bench and eagerness to latch down a starting berth.

The most likely starters will be the pairing of Lood de Jager (No 5) and Francois Uys, with Ligtoring Landman providing bench cover.

 

Loose Forwards:

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.

 

Scrumhalves:

Name: Sarel Johannes “Sarel” Pretorius:

Position Scrumhalf
Height 1.74m
Weight 84kg
Date of Birth 18 April 1984
Place of Birth Bloemfontein
Provincial Debut 2006
Provincial Caps 108
Provincial Points 192
Super Rugby Debut 2008
Super Rugby Caps 67
Super Rugby Points 105
Test Debut
Test Caps 0
Test Points 0
Sarel Pretorius

Sarel Pretorius is a product of Reitz Primary School and Reitz High School.

Pretorius started his career in 2003 with the Griffons at Under 20 level. From there he moved on to represent the Cheetahs at Under 21 level in 2005 and then moved up to the Valke for the 2006 and 2007 seasons before joining the Griquas in 2007. He became a regular face at the Griquas and Cheetahs Super Rugby squads. In 2012 he made a brief move to Australian Super Rugby side the Waratahs. He returned to the Cheetahs in 2012 for the Currie Cup season and is now a regular face in the Free State Cheetahs squad.

Pretorius is most likely the most exiting scrumhalf in Super Rugby. He will use every chance he gets to run at the opposition and this shows with 105 point in 67 Super Rugby appearances. His defence is however suspect.

Pretorius will also most likely be the regular starting scrumhalf at the Toyota Cheetahs this season.

His playing career is as follows:

  • 2003 – Griffons – ABSA U20 Section B
  • 2005 – Free State – ABSA Under 21 Competition, Free State – Provincial Amateur Competition
  • 2006 – Medicover Valke – Vodacom Cup, Medicover Valke – ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division
  • 2007 – Valke – Vodacom Cup, Valke – ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division, Wildeklawer Griquas – ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division
  • 2008 – Vodacom Cheetahs – Vodacom Super 14, Wildeklawer Griquas – Vodacom Cup, Wildeklawer Griquas – ABSA Currie Cup Compulsory Friendlies, Emerging Springboks – IRB Nations Cup, Wildeklawer Griquas – ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division
  • 2009 – GWK Griquas – Vodacom Cup, Vodacom Cheetahs – Vodacom Super 14, Royal XV – British & Irish Lions Tour, GWK Griquas – ABSA Currie Cup Compulsory Friendlies, GWK Griquas – ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division
  • 2010 – Vodacom Cheetahs – Vodacom Super 14, GWK Griquas – ABSA Currie Cup Compulsory Friendlies, GWK Griquas – ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division
  • 2011 – GWK Griquas – Vodacom Cup, Toyota Cheetahs – Vodacom Super Rugby, GWK Griquas – ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division
  • 2012 – Waratahs – 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: Shaun Harold “Shaun” Venter:

Position Scrumhalf
Height 1.83m
Weight 85kg
Date of Birth 16 March 1987
Place of Birth Witbank
Provincial Debut 2007
Provincial Caps 105
Provincial Points 140
Super Rugby Debut 2013
Super Rugby Caps 18
Super Rugby Points 10
Test Debut
Test Caps 0
Test Points 0
Shaun Venter

Venter is a product of Klipfontein Primary School and Afrikaans High School.

Venter started his career in 2006 at Under 21 level for Mpumalanga. He represented the Pumas until 2012 and then moved to Eester Province in 2013. He was part of the Springbok Sevens squad in 2009 and represented the SA Barbarians North in 2012 during the Castle Incoming Tours.

Venter is still a relatively young player and after his first Super Rugby season with the Southern Kings, has shown that he has what it takes in Super Rugby. He has 105 provincial caps, which is a huge achievement at his age.

The Cheetahs will do well to give Venter some regular game time this season. He will be hungry to prove a point and show his worth behind a good pack of forwards.

His playing career is as follows:

  • 2006 – Mpumalanga – ABSA Under 21 Competition, Mpumalanga – ABSA Under 19 Competition
  • 2007 – Witbank Mica Pumas – Vodacom Cup, Witbank Mica Pumas – ABSA Currie Cup Qualifiers, Witbank Mica Pumas – ABSA Currie Cup First Division, Witbank Mica Pumas – ABSA Currie Cup Compulsory Friendlies
  • 2008 – Pumas – Vodacom Cup, Pumas – ABSA Currie Cup Compulsory Friendlies, Pumas – ABSA Currie Cup First Division
  • 2009 – Pumas – ABSA Currie Cup Compulsory Friendlies, Pumas – ABSA Currie Cup First Division, Pumas – ABSA Currie Cup Promotion / Relegation, South Africa – IRB Sevens Series George
  • 2010 – Pumas – Vodacom Cup, Barloworld Toyota Pumas – ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division, Barloworld Toyota Pumas – ABSA Currie Cup Promotion / Relegation
  • 2011 – Ford Pumas – Vodacom Cup, Ford Pumas – ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division
  • 2012 – Ford Pumas – Vodacom Cup, SA Barbarians North – Castle Incoming Tours, Ford Pumas – ABSA Currie Cup First Division
  • 2013 – Southern Kings – Vodacom Super Rugby, Steval Pumas – ABSA Currie Cup First Division, Southern Kings – Super Rugby Promotion / Relegation

 

Name: Kevin Luiters:

Position Scrumhalf
Height 1.74m
Weight 80kg
Date of Birth 2 July 1992
Place of Birth Port Elizabeth
Provincial Debut 2011
Provincial Caps 12
Provincial Points 5
Super Rugby Debut
Super Rugby Caps 0
Super Rugby Points 0
Test Debut
Test Caps 0
Test Points 0
Kevin Luiters

Kevin Luiters is a product of Stirling Primary School, Grey College and the University of the Free State (Shimlas).

Luiters started his career in 2005 for Border at Under 13 level. His first major senior appearance was for the Free State Cheetahs in the 2011 Vodacom Cup. He was also part of the 2012 Springbok Sevens squad.

Luiters will most likely be third in the pecking order at the Toyota Cheetahs. He is young and would relish the chance to get some game time as he is still uncapped in Super Rugby.

His playing career is as follows:

  • 2005 – Border – U13 Coca Cola Craven Week
  • 2008 – South Africa – U/16 Elite Squads, Konica Minolta Free State – U16 Coca-Cola Grant Khomo Week
  • 2010 – Free State – U18 Craven Week, South Africa – SA U18 High Performance, Free State – ABSA Under 19 Competition
  • 2011 – Toyota Free State Cheetahs – Vodacom Cup, Toyota Free State Cheetahs – ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division
  • 2012 – Shimlas – Varsity Cup, Toyota Free State XV – Vodacom Cup, Toyota Free State Cheetahs – ABSA Under 21 Competition, Toyota Free State Cheetahs – ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division, South Africa – HSBC Sevens World Series in Dubai
  • 2013 – Toyota Free State XV – Vodacom Cup, Shimlas – Varsity Cup, Toyota Free State – ABSA Under 21 Competition, Toyota Free State Cheetahs – ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division

 

Starters:

The Toyota Cheetahs have in my opinion a tough task to pick a starting scrumhalf. The obvious choice would be to start Pretorius, Venter however showed some talent last year in a struggling Southern Kings side. The starting scrumhalf will be between those two with the other playing off the bench.

Regarding the youngster Luiters – He will most likely see very little Super Rugby game time, if any at all. He would relish the opportunity at Super Rugby.

 

Flyhalves:

Name: Francois Brummer:

Position Flyhalf
Height 1.83m
Weight 91kg
Date of Birth 17 May 1989
Place of Birth Pretoria
Provincial Debut 2008
Provincial Caps 78
Provincial Points 651
Super Rugby Debut 2010
Super Rugby Caps 6
Super Rugby Points 2
Test Debut
Test Caps 0
Test Points 0
Francois Brummer

Francois Brummer is a product of Elardus Park Primary School and Waterkloof High School.

He started his career back in 2005 for the Blue Bulls at Under 16 level. From there he went on to represent the Blue Bulls at all age levels and eventually found himself in their Currie Cup Premier Division side and Super Rugby side. Whilst at the Blue Bulls he also represented the Junior Springbok side on 3 seperate seasons, in 2007, 2008 and 2009. In 2012 he made a move down to Kimberley to join the GWK Griquas where he is still plying his trade at provincial level and is also currently representing the Toyota Cheetahs at Super Rugby level.

Brummer is the only Griquas flyhalf in the squad. One has to wonder if that affects the pecking order. The Toyota Cheetahs have some good flyhalves, so picking a starter and replacement will not be easy.

His playing career is as follows:

  • 2005 – Blue Bulls – U16 Coca Cola Grant Khomo Week
  • 2006 – Blue Bulls – U18 Coca Cola Craven Week
  • 2007 – Blue Bulls – U18 Coca-Cola Craven Week, South Africa – IRB Under 19 World Championship, Vodacom Blue Bulls – ABSA Under 19 Competition
  • 2008 – Vodacom Blue Bulls – Vodacom Cup, South Africa – IRB Junior World Championship, Vodacom Blue Bulls – ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division, Vodacom Blue Bulls – ABSA Under 21 Competition, Vodacom Blue Bulls – ABSA Under 19 Competition
  • 2009 – Bulls – MTN test, Vodacom Blue Bulls – Vodacom Cup, South Africa – IRB Junior World Championships, Vodacom Blue Bulls – ABSA Currie Cup Compulsory Friendlies, Vodacom Blue Bulls – ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division
  • 2010 – Vodacom Bulls – Vodacom Super 14, Vodacom Blue Bulls – Vodacom Cup, Vodacom Blue Bulls – ABSA Currie Cup Compulsory Friendlies, Vodacom Blue Bulls – ABSA Under 21 Competition, Vodacom Blue Bulls – ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division
  • 2011 – Vodacom Blue Bulls – Vodacom Cup, Vodacom Bulls – Vodacom Super Rugby, Vodacom Blue Bulls – ABSA Currie Cup Compulsory Friendlies, Vodacom Blue Bulls – 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, Toyota Cheetahs – Vodacom Super Rugby, GWK Griquas – ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division, GWK Griquas – ABSA Currie Cup Promotion / Relegation

 

Name: Johan Goosen:

Position Flyhalf
Height 1.85m
Weight 89kg
Date of Birth 27 July 1992
Place of Birth Burgersdorp
Provincial Debut 2011
Provincial Caps 18
Provincial Points 143
Super Rugby Debut 2012
Super Rugby Caps 13
Super Rugby Points 188
Test Debut 2012 v Australia
Test Caps 4
Test Points 8
Johan Goosen

Johan Goosen is a product of Burgersdorp Primary School and Grey College in Bloemfontein.

He started his career back in 2008 for the Free State at Under 16 level and still resides at the Free State Cheetahs. Goosen also previously represented Border at Under 13 level. Goosen also represent the Junior Springboks in 2011 and from there went on to make his Springbok debut in 2012.

Johan is an all round flyhalf, he is good in all aspects of the game and this will in all likelyhood see him start most games. He has however been plagued by injuries (both shoulders and a troubling heel injury) in his early senior career and can only hope that this is now behind him. As history would suggest, it would seem that we will only be seeing Goosen in about 4 to 5 games in Super Rugby before injury strikes again.

His playing career is as follows:

  • 2005 – Border – U13 Coca Cola Craven Week
  • 2008 – South Africa – U/16 Elite Squads, Konica Minlota Free State – U16 Coca-Cola Grant Khomo Week
  • 2009 – Free State – U18 Coca-Cola Craven Week, South Africa – SA U/18 High Performance, South Africa – SA Schools
  • 2010 – Free State – U18 Coca-Cola Craven Week, South Africa – SA U18 High Performance, Free State – ABSA Under 19 Competition
  • 2011 – Toyota Free State Cheetahs – Vodacom Cup, South Africa – IRB Junior World Championships, Emerging Cheetahs – ABSA Currie Cup Compulsory Friendlies, Toyota Free State Cheetahs – ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division
  • 2012 – Toyota Cheetahs – Vodacom Super Rugby, Toyota Free State Cheethas – ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division, Springboks – The Rugby Championship
  • 2013 – Toyota Cheetahs – Vodacom Super Rugby, Toyota Free State Cheetahs – ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division, Springbokssquad member – Castle Lager Outgoing Tour

 

Name: Adriaan Jacobus “Riaan or True Blue” Smit:

Position Flyhalf, Fullback
Height 1.78m
Weight 85kg
Date of Birth 28 April 1984
Place of Birth Springs
Provincial Debut 2006
Provincial Caps 74
Provincial Points 387
Super Rugby Debut 2010
Super Rugby Caps 24
Super Rugby Points 106
Test Debut
Test Caps 0
Test Points 0
Riaan Smit

Riaan Smit is a product of Jan van Riebeeck Primary School and the Springs High Technical School.

He started his career in 2004 with the Leopards at Under 20 level. He remained at the Leopards until 2006 when he made the move to the Pumas for the 2007 season. In 2008 he went on to represent the Valke before moving back to the Leopards in 2009 to represent them in the Vodacom Cup. In 2010 he made his career move to the Free State Cheetahs.

Smit is a consistent player. Most people will feel that he is not the best starting flyhalf in this side and is a better replacement as he can play a number of positions in the backline and on top of it is a good kicker to posts. I would have to agree on that. If Johan Goosen remains injury free, Smit could find himself seeing a lot of bench time, if any at all.

His playing career is as follows:

  • 2004 – Leopards – ABSA U20 Competition Section A
  • 2005 – Leopards – ABSA Under 21 Competition
  • 2006 – Impala Leopards – ABSA Currie Cup First Division, Impala Leopards – Vodacom Cup, Puk Rugby Institute – Fidentia National Club Championships
  • 2007 – Witbank Mica Pumas – Vodacom Cup, Witbank Mica Pumas – ABSA Currie Cup Qualifiers, Witbank Mica Pumas – ABSA Currie Cup First Division
  • 2008 – Valke – Vodacom Cup, Valke – ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division
  • 2009 – Platinum Leopards – Vodacom Cup
  • 2010 – Free State – Vodacom Cup, Griffons – ABSA Currie Cup First Division, Vodacom Free State Cheetahs – ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division
  • 2011 – Toyota Free State Cheetahs – Vodacom Cup, Toyota Cheetahs – Vodacom Super Rugby, Emerging Cheetahs – ABSA Currie Cup Compulsory Friendlies, Toyota Free State Cheetahs – ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division
  • 2012 – Toyota Cheetahs – Vodacom Super Rugby, Toyota Free State XV – Vodacom Cup, Toyota Free State Cheetahs – ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division
  • 2013 – Toyota Free State XV – Vodacom Cup, Toyota Cheetahs – Vodacom Super Rugby, Toyota Free State Cheetahs – ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division

 

Name: Elgar Graeme “Elgar” Watts:

Position Flyhalf
Height 1.81m
Weight 89kg
Date of Birth 24 Sptember 1985
Place of Birth Paarl
Provincial Debut 2008
Provincial Caps 110
Provincial Points 628
Super Rugby Debut 2013
Super Rugby Caps 6
Super Rugby Points 38
Test Debut
Test Caps 0
Test Points 0
Elgar Watts

Elgar Watts is a product of Dalweide Primary School, Klein Nederberg, Boland College and University of Stellenbosch (Maties).

He started his career back in 2008 for the Boland Kavaliers. He played for them until the end of the 2009 season and then moved to the Pumas for the 2010 season. He returned to the Boland in 2011 and also found himself part of the DHL Stormers squad but was never capped and selected to play. He remained with the Boland up until 2012 and in this time also represented the SA Barbarians in the Castle Incoming Tours in 2012. In 2013 he made his move to the Cheetahs and is still applying his trade there.

Watts is also a very capable replacement. He also showed in the 2013 season when all other flyhalves were out with injuries, that he can indeed start a game and is often underrated. He has quite a good left boot and is also fairly accurate with his goal kicking.

His playing career is as follows:

  • 2006 – Maties – Fidentia National Club Championships
  • 2008 – Boland Kavaliers – ABSA Currie Cup Promotion / Relegation, Boland Kavaliers – Vodacom Cup, Boland Kavaliers – ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division
  • 2009 – Bloand Kavaliers – Vodacom Cup, Southern Kings – British & Irish Lions Tour, Boland – ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division, Boland Kavaliers – ABSA Currie Cup Promotion / Relegation
  • 2010 – Pumas – Vodacom Cup, Barloworld Toyota Pumas – ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division, Barloworld Toyota Pumas – ABSA Currie Cup Promotion / Relegation
  • 2011 – Boland Kavaliers – Vodacom Cup, DHL Stormers squad member – Vodacom Super Rugby, Boland Kavaliers – ABSA Currie Cup Compulsory Friendlies, Regent Boland Kavaliers – ABSA Currie Cup First Division
  • 2012 – Regent Boland Kavaliers – Vodacom Cup, SA Barbarians South – Castle Incoming Tours, Regent Boland Kavaliers – ABSA Currie Cup First Division
  • 2013 – Toyota Free State XV – Vodacom Cup, Toyota Cheetahs – Vodacom Super Rugby, Toyota Free State Cheetahs – ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division

 

Starters:

The Toyota Cheetahs have well rounded flyhalves with a lot of experience between them. It is almost certain that Johan Goosen will be the starting flyhalf in this team and if he lasts more than 3 games this year, will most likely stay the starting flyhalf and go on to represent the Springboks again too.

Who will be the bench warmer? Well that is not easy, as all the remaining flyhalves are good and consistent but not Springbok material. So the best the the coach can do here is to throw all the remaining three players names into a hat on a Monday before training and draw a name as to who will be bench player that coming weekend.

I feel that the Cheetahs have the most quality depth in the SA conference at flyhalf and that means quite a bit in a long competition.

 

Midfield:

Name: Petrus Johannes “Piet” Lindeque:

Position Centre
Height 1.83m
Weight 92kg
Date of Birth 31 January 1991
Place of Birth Winburg
Provincial Debut 2010
Provincial Caps 17
Provincial Points 25
Super Rugby Debut 2013
Super Rugby Caps 5
Super Rugby Points 5
Test Debut
Test Caps 0
Test Points 0
Piet Lindeque

Piet Lindeque is a product of Grey College and University of Pretoria (Tuks).

He started his career back in 2007 with the Free State before making his move to the Sharks in 2010 where he represented them in the Vodacom Cup and at Under 21 level. At the start of 2013 he had a brief stint with the Blue Bulls in the Vodacom Cup before receiving a call-up to represent the Sharks in Super Rugby and from there went on to represent the Toyota Free State Cheetahs in the 2013 Currie Cup.

Lindeque is still a young player and in the Cheetahs team is sure to get some game time. With Robert Ebersohn now playing his rugby overseas, it is uncertain who will make up the starting centre pairing. So, I would like to believe that it is an open competition for these spots.

His playing career is as follows:

  • 2007 – Free State – U16 Coca-Cola Grant Khomo Week
  • 2008 – Konica Minolta Free State – U18 Coca-Cola Craven Week
  • 2009 – Free State – U18 Coca-Cola Craven Week, South Africa – SA U/18 High Performance SA Schools, South Africa – SA Schools U/18
  • 2010 – Sharks Invitational XV – ABSA Currie Cup Compulsory Friendlies, Sharks – ABSA Under 21 Competition, Sharks – ABSA Under 19 Competition
  • 2011 – Sharks XV – Vodacom Cup, Sharks XV – ABSA Currie Cup Compulsory Friendlies, Sharks – ABSA Under 21 Competition
  • 2012 – Sharks XV – Vodacom Cup, Sharks – ABSA Under 21 Competition
  • 2013 – Vodacom Blue Bulls – Vodacom Cup, Tuks – Varsity Cup, Sharks – Vodacom Super Rugby, Toyota Free State Cheetahs – ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division

 

Name: Xolane Howard “Howard” Mnisi:

Position Centre
Height 1.86m
Weight 98kg
Date of Birth 13 July 1989
Place of Birth Elukwatini
Provincial Debut 2011
Provincial Caps 14
Provincial Points 10
Super Rugby Debut 2013
Super Rugby Caps 1
Super Rugby Points 0
Test Debut
Test Caps 0
Test Points 0
Howard Mnisi

Howard Mnisi is a product of Badplaas Primary School, Standerton High School, the Sharks Academy as well as Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan University (NMMU).

He started his career at he the Pumas back in 2006 where he represented them at Under 16 level. He made a move to the Sharks at the start of 2008 where he represented the Sharks at Under 19 and Under 21 levels and in the Vodacom Cup. In 2013 he made his move to GWK Griquas.

Mnisi displayed moments of brilliance in the 2013 Currie Cup. The question one would want to ask is whether he could step up to Super Rugby level. He is most likely the lowest in the centre pecking order at the Toyota Cheetahs. However, I am sure that when does get game time that he would deliver. He has talent and with some proper coaching could turn into a potentail Springbok later in his career.

His playing career is as follows:

  • 2006 – Mpumalanga – U18 Coca Cola Craven Week
  • 2007 – Pumas – U18 Coca-Cola Craven Week
  • 2008 – Sharks – ABSA Under 19 Competition
  • 2010 – Sharks – ABSA Under 21 Competition
  • 2011 – Sharks XV – Vodacom Cup
  • 2012 – NMMU – Varsity Cup, South Africa – SA Students
  • 2013 – NMMU – Varsity Cup, Cheetahs – Vodacom Super Rugby, GWK Griquas – ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division, GWK Griquas – ABSA Currie Cup Promotion / Relegation

 

Name: Johann Sadie:

Position Centre
Height 1.88m
Weight 94kg
Date of Birth 23 January 1989
Place of Birth Malmesbury
Provincial Debut 2010
Provincial Caps 38
Provincial Points 75
Super Rugby Debut 2011
Super Rugby Caps 33
Super Rugby Points 35
Test Debut
Test Caps 0
Test Points 0
Johann Sadie

Johann Sadie is a product of Swartland Primary School, Paarl Gimnasium and Stellenbosch University (Maties).

He started his career back in 2005 at Under 16 level with Western Province. He went on to represent Western Province in the Currie Cup and the Stormers in Super Rugby until 2011. In 2012 he made a move to the Blue Bulls, where things did not work out for him the way he would have liked, as he was overshadowed by former Western Province team mate JJ Engelbrecht. This would then in turn signal his move to the Free State in 2013. Sadie was also part of the Junior Springbok squad in 2009.

Sadie is most likely going to be the starting No 13 (outside centre) in this side, where he played most of the 2013 Super Rugby season and is also the most capped centre in this side.

His playing career is as follows:

  • 2005 – Investec Western Province – U16 Coca Cola Grant Khomo Week
  • 2006 – Western Province – U18 Coca Cola Craven Week, Western Province – U18 Academy Week, South Africa – CAR U18
  • 2007 – Western Province – U18 Coca-Cola Craven Week
  • 2008 – Vodacom Western Province – ABSA Under 19 Competition
  • 2009 – Maties – Varsity Cup, South Africa – IRB Junior World Championships, Western Province – ABSA Under 21 Competition
  • 2010 – Maties – Varsity Cup, Western Province – Vodacom Cup, Western Province – ABSA Under 21 Competition
  • 2011 – DHL Western Province – Vodacom Cup, DHL Stormers – Vodacom Super Rugby, DHL Western Province – ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division
  • 2012 – Vodacom Bulls – Vodacom Super Rugby, Vodacom Blue Bulls – ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division
  • 2013 – Toyota Cheetahs – Vodacom Super Rugby, Toyota Free State Cheetahs – ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division

 

Name: Jacobus Francois “Francois” Venter:

Position Centre
Height 1.85m
Weight 95kg
Date of Birth 19 April 1991
Place of Birth Bloemfontein
Provincial Debut 2010
Provincial Caps 43
Provincial Points 60
Super Rugby Debut 2012
Super Rugby Caps 11
Super Rugby Points 0
Test Debut
Test Caps 0
Test Points 0
Francois Venter

Francois Venter is a product of Grey College Primary School, Grey College and the University of Pretoria (Tuks).

He started his career in 2007 for the Free State at Under 16 level and remained with the union until 2010 when he made his move to the Blue Bulls. He remained at the Blue Bulls and represented them at Under 21, Vodacom Cup, Currie Cup and Super Rugby levels. He was also part of the Junior Springbok squad in 2011.

Venter would be my first choice at No 12 (inside centre) for this season at the Cheetahs. He has proven at the Bulls that he can play Super Rugby and will be well suited next to Johann Sadie.

His playing career is as follows:

  • 2007 – Free State – U16 Coca-Cola Grant Khomo Week
  • 2008 – South Africa – U/18 Elite Squad, South Africa – SA Schools, Konica Minolta Free State – U18 Coca-Cola Craven Week
  • 2009 – Free State – ABSA Under 19 Competition
  • 2010 – Vodacom Blue Bulls – Vodacom Cup, South Africa – IRB Junior World Championships, Vodacom Blue Bulls – ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division, Blue Bulls – ABSA Under 19 Competition
  • 2011 – Vodacom Blue Bulls – Vodacom Cup, South Africa – IRB Junior World Championships, Vodacom Blue Bulls – ABSA Currie Cup Compulsory Friendlies, Vodacom Blue Bulls – ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division, Vodacom Blue Bulls – ABSA Under 21 Competition
  • 2012 – Vodacom Bulls – Vodacom Super Rugby, Vodacom Blue Bulls – Vodacom Cup, Vodacom Blue Bulls – ABSA Under 21 Competition, Vodacom Blue Bulls – ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division
  • 2013 – Vodacom Blue Bulls – Vodacom Cup, Vodacom Bulls – Vodacom Super Rugby, Vodacom Blue Bulls – ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division

 

Starters:

This is the first article I have done on the Cheetahs where I feel that they are lacking a bit. In all other positions they seem well rounded.

I also have this bad feeling that this is where teams are going to target the Toyota Cheetahs. I think that they are too light at centre and the combinations here are not familiar with each other, as they have almost never played together.

The combination I would go for is to play Francois Venter at No 12 with Johann Sadie at No 13, with Piet Lindeque as bench cover.

The other possibility for the Cheetahs is to maybe consider playing Raymond Rhule at centre and not wing.

 

Back Three:

Name: Hendrik Joseph “Hennie” Daniller:

Position Fullback
Height 1.94m
Weight 100kg
Date of Birth 5 April 1984
Place of Birth Cape Town
Provincial Debut 2003
Provincial Caps 82
Provincial Points 60
Super Rugby Debut 2004
Super Rugby Caps 83
Super Rugby Points 55
Test Debut
Test Caps 0
Test Points 0
Hennie Daniller

Hennie Daniller is a product of Hex Valley Primary School and Paarl Gymnasium.

He started his career back in 2003 where he represented the Blue Bulls. In 2006 he made a move down to Boland and represented Boland until the end of 2007, from here he made a move to the Cheetahs in 2008 and has been applying his trade at the Cheetahs ever since. He also respresented South Africa at Under 19 and Under 21 levels.

Daniller is a very solid fullback. He is good under the high ball and has a very potent left boot. He is however not known for his attacking skills and appears a bit lumbersome at times. I also feel that this is why he has never and most probably will never represent the Springboks, as he is not a game breaker in the true sense of the word and does not come into the backline often enough and also seems to hang back a bit on attack. Having said all that, the Cheetahs did well last season where he was the fullback for virtually the whole season, so I doubt that the coaching staff will change too much at fullback, which in turn could see Daniller starting most games this season at fullback.

His playing career is as follows:

  • 2003 – Blue Bulls – Vodacom Cup, South Africa – IRB FIRA-AER U19 World Championship, Mobil Blue Bulls – ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division, Blue Bulls – ABSA U20 A Section
  • 2004 – Bulls – Vodacom Super 12, Mobil Blue Bulls – Vodacom Cup, South Africa – IRB U21 World Championships, Blue Bulls – ABSA U20 Competition Section A
  • 2005 – South Africa – IRB U21 World Championships, Vodacom Blue Bulls – Vodacom Cup, Vodacom Blue Bulls – ABSA Currie Cup Qualifying Round, Blue Bulls – ABSA Under 21 Competition, Vodacom Blue Bulls – ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division
  • 2006 – Fidentia Boland Kavaliers – ABSA Currie Cup First Division, Vodacom Blue Bulls – Vodacom Cup
  • 2007 – Boland Kavaliers – Vodacom Cup, Boland Kavaliers – ABSA Currie Cup Qualifiers, Boland Kavaliers – 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, Griffons – ABSA Currie Cup First Division
  • 2009 – GWK Griquas – Vodacom Cup, Vodacom Cheetahs – Vodacom Super 14, Vodacom Free State Cheetahs – British & Irish Lions Tour, Vodacom Free State Cheetahs – ABSA Currie Cup Compulsory Friendlies, Vodacom Free State Cheetahs – ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division
  • 2010 – Vodacom Cheetahs – Vodacom Super 14, Vodacom Free State Cheetahs – ABSA Currie Cup Compulsory Friendlies, Vodacom Free State Cheetahs – ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division
  • 2011 – Toyota Cheetahs – Vodacom Super Rugby, Toyota Free State Cheetahs – ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division
  • 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 – Lions Challenge, Toyota Cheetahs – Vodacom Super Rugby, Toyota Free State Cheetahs – ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division

 

Name: Raymond Kofi “Raymond” Rhule:

Position Left Wing / Fullback / Outside Centre
Height 1.80m
Weight 82kg
Date of Birth 6 November 1992
Place of Birth Accra, Ghana
Provincial Debut 2012
Provincial Caps 23
Provincial Points 75
Super Rugby Debut 2013
Super Rugby Caps 17
Super Rugby Points 25
Test Debut
Test Caps 0
Test Points 0
Raymond Rhule

Raymond Rhule is a product of Sentraal Primary School, Louis Botha Technical High School and University of the Free State (Shimlas).

He started his career in 2009 at Under 18 level for the Free State and has gone on to represent them at Under 19, Vodacom Cup, Currie Cup and Super Rugby levels. He received a call up to the Springbok squad in 2012 but was never capped.

Rhule is in a very good position too make a name and get into Springbok contention this year, seeing as a lot of players have moved overseas. Rhule finds himself in a side that loves to run the ball from basically everywhere and if he uses this to his advantage, he could well find himself part of the Springbok squad for the June Tests.

His playing career is as follows:

  • 2009 – Free State – U18 Academy Week
  • 2010 – Free State – U18 Craven Week
  • 2011 – Free State – ABSA Under 19 Competition
  • 2012 – Shimlas – Varsity Cup, Toyota Free State XV – Vodacom Cup, South Africa – IRB Junior World Championship, Toyota Free State Cheetahs – ABSA Under 21 Competition, Toyota Free State Cheetahs – ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division, Toyota Free State Cheetahs – ABSA Currie Cup Promotion / Relegation, Springbok squad member – Castle Outgoing Tours
  • 2013 – Toyota Cheetahs – Lions Challenge, Toyota Cheetahs – Vodacom Super Rugby, Toyota Free State Cheetahs – ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division

 

Name: Willem Jacobus “Willie” le Roux:

Position Fullback / Right Wing
Height 1.86m
Weight 90kg
Date of Birth 18 August 1989
Place of Birth Stellenbosch
Provincial Debut 2010
Provincial Caps 50
Provincial Points 226
Super Rugby Debut 2012
Super Rugby Caps 33
Super Rugby Points 65
Test Debut 2013 v Italy
Test Caps 12
Test Points 20
Willie Le Roux

Willie le Roux is a product of Lochnerhof Primary School and Paul Roos Gymnasium.

He started his career in 2007 with Western Province at the Under 18 level at the U/18 Academy Week. From there he went on to represent the Boland at Under 21, Vodacom Cup and Currie Cup levels. In 2012 he made his move to the Griquas and also found himself playing Super Rugby for the Cheetahs. He made his Springbok debut in 2013 and has only shown growth from strenght to strenght.

Le Roux is a fun player too watch. He always tries to spark the game and is always busy on the field. He is very illusive and possesses quite a bit of pace, this is likely the reason why he is in the current Springbok squad. There are quite a few people that would like him to play more at No 15 (fullback) and I am one of them. However, looking at this Cheetah squad, it is likely that he will find himself at No 14 (right wing) for most of the season, with Hennie Daniller at fullback.

His playing career is as follows:

  • 2007 – Western Province – U18 Academy Week
  • 2008 – Boland – ABSA U21 Promotion / Relegation, Boland – ABSA Under 21 Competition
  • 2010 – Boland Kavaliers – Vodacom Cup, Boland – ABSA Currie Cup Compulsory Friendlies, Boland – ABSA Currie Cup First Division
  • 2011 – Boland Kavaliers – Vodacom Cup, Boland Kavaliers – ABSA Currie Cup Compulsory Friendlies, Regent Boland Kavaliers – ABSA Currie Cup First Division
  • 2012 – Toyota Cheetahs – Vodacom Super Rugby, GWK Griquas – Vodacom Cup, GWK Griquas – ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division
  • 2013 – GWK Griquas – Vodacom Cup, Toyota Cheetahs – Vodacom Super Rugby, Springboks – Castle Lager Incoming Series, GWK Griquas – ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division, Springboks- The Rugby Championship, GWK Griquas – ABSA Currie Cup Promotion / Relegation, Springboks – Castle Lager Outgoing Tour, Barbarians vs Fiji

 

Name: Rocco Reginald “Rocco” Jansen:

Position Wing
Height 1.79m
Weight 91kg
Date of Birth 21 July 1986
Place of Birth Queenstown
Provincial Debut 2007
Provincial Caps 100
Provincial Points 285
Super Rugby Debut 2012
Super Rugby Caps 4
Super Rugby Points 0
Test Debut
Test Caps 0
Test Points 0
Rocco Jansen

Rocco Jansen is a product of Queen’s College and North-West University (Pukke).

He started his career in 2005 with the Imapalas, in 2006 he went on to represent the Leopards at Under 19 and Under 21 levels. In 2009 he found himself at the Blue Bulls and represented them at Under 21, Vodacom Cup and Currie Cup levels. He made a move to the Mighty Elephants late in 2009. In 2010 he moved to the Griquas and made his Super Rugby debut for the Cheetahs.

Jansen will be seen by most as an average player. He performs well enough and is normally very consistent but does not show anything beyond that. Having said that, he is a good replacement to have in your side and will give you the 100% required, when he is called up.

His playing career is as follows:

  • 2005 – Impalas – Provincial Amateur Competition
  • 2006 – Leopards – SA Under 19 Competition, Leopards – ABSA Under 21 Competition, Leopards – Inter-Provincial Sevens Competition for men
  • 2007 – Vodacom Blue Bulls – Vodacom Cup, Vodacom Blue Bulls – ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division, Blue Bulls XV – ABSA Currie Cup Compulsory Friendlies, Vodacom Blue Bulls – ABSA Under 21 Competition
  • 2008 – Vodacom Blue Bulls – Vodacom Cup, Emerging Springboks – IRB Nations Cup, Vodacom Blue Bulls – ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division
  • 2009 – Vodacom Blue Bulls – Vodacom Cup, Vodacom Bulls – MTN test, Sharks Invitational XV – ABSA Currie Cup Compulsory Friendlies, Vodacom Blue Bulls – ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division, Mighty Elephants – ABSA Currie Cup First Division
  • 2010 – GWK Griquas – Vodacom Cup, GWK Griquas – ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division
  • 2011 – GWK Griquas – Vodacom Cup, GWK Griquas – ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division
  • 2012 – Toyota Cheetahs – Vodacom Super Rugby, GWK Griquas – Vodacom Cup, GWK Griquas – ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division
  • 2013 – GWK Griquas – Vodacom Cup, Toyota Cheetahs – Vodacom Super Rugby, GWK Griquas – ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division, GWK Griquas – ABSA Currie Cup Promotion / Relegation

 

Name: Cornal Hendricks:

Position Wing / Centre
Height 1.89m
Weight 90kg
Date of Birth 18 April 1988
Place of Birth Paarl
Provincial Debut 2008
Provincial Caps 67
Provincial Points 135
Super Rugby Debut
Super Rugby Caps 0
Super Rugby Points 0
Test Debut
Test Caps 0
Test Points 0
Cornal Hendricks

Cornal Hendricks is a product of Wellington Primary School and Berg River High School.

He started his career in 2006 with Roses United. He went from there to represent the Boland from 2007 to 2011 where he then received a call-up to represent the Blitzbokke. He has been playing for the Blitzbokke ever since.

Cornal Hendricks finds himself in a team who has quite some talent on wing and fullback. This team also contains 3 seasoned National Sevens players. I doubt the he will see too much game time is is most likely a back up player, just in case there are a lot of injuries. He will also most likely be seen as the lowest in the Back Three pecking order.

His playing career is as follows:

  • 2006 – Roses United – Fidentia National Club Championships
  • 2007 – Boland – ABSA Under 19 Competition
  • 2008 – Boland – ABSA U21 Promotion / Relegation, Boland Kavaliers – ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division, Boland – ABSA Under 21 Competition
  • 2009 – Boland Kavaliers – Vodacom Cup, Boland – ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division, Boland Kavaliers – ABSA Currie Cup Promotion / Relegation
  • 2010 – Boland Kavaliers – Vodacom Cup, Boland – ABSA Currie Cup Compulsory Friendlies, Boland – ABSA Currie Cup First Division
  • 2011 – Boland Kavaliers – Vodacom Cup, Boland Kavaliers – ABSA Currie Cup Compulsory Friendlies, Regent Boland Kavaliers – ABSA Currie Cup First Division, South Africa – HSBC Sevens World Series in South Africa
  • 2012 – South Africa – HSBC Sevens World Series (New Zealand, Las Vegas, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Glasgow & London), Regent Boland Kavaliers – Vodacom Cup, SA Barbarians South – Castle Incoming Tours, Regent Boland Kavaliers – ABSA Currie Cup First Division, South Africa – HSBC Sevens World Series (Gold Coast, Dubai & South Africa)
  • 2013 – South Africa – HSBC Sevens World Series (New Zealand, USA, Hong Kong, Japan, Scotland, England & Gold Coast)

 

Name: Rayno Shannon “Rayno” Benjamin:

Position Wing / Centre
Height 1.87m
Weight 89kg
Date of Birth 3 August 1983
Place of Birth Vredenburg
Provincial Debut 2004
Provincial Caps 86
Provincial Points 255
Super Rugby Debut 2006
Super Rugby Caps 51
Super Rugby Points 55
Test Debut
Test Caps 0
Test Points 0
Rayno Benjamin

Rayno Benjamin is a product of St. Helena Bay Primary School and Weston High School.

He started his career in 2004 with Boland, then went on represent them until 2006 and also had a brief stint with the Stormers at Super Rugby level in this period. In 2007 he received a call-up to represent the Blitzbokke and also found himself in the Cheetah squad for Super Rugby and the Lions squad for the Currie Cup. In 2008 He represented the Lions in Super Rugby and Currie Cup. In 2009 he played primarily sevens rugby but was also part of the Southern Kings team which took part against British & Irish Lions. In 2011 he made a complete move to the Cheetahs and has been representing them ever since.

Benjamin possesses talent and as a sevens player he has good ball skills. He is known as a wing but has come onto the park as a scrumhalf replacement as well in 2013. He will most likely be a regular bench player this season. He will give everything when he gets game time.

His playing career is as follows:

  • 2004 – Boland Kavaliers – Vodacom Shield, Cavaliers – ABSA Currie Cup First Division
  • 2005 – Boland Kavaliers – Vodacom Cup, Boland Kavaliers – ABSA Currie Cup Qualifying Round, Boland kavaliers – ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division
  • 2006 – South Africa – IRB Sevens Series (Dubai & George), Fidentia Boland Kvaliers – ABSA Currie Cup First Division, Vodacom Stormers – Vodacom Super 14
  • 2007 – South Africa – IRB Sevens Series (USA, New Zealand, Hong Kong & Adelaide), Vodacom Cheetahs – Vodacom Super 14, Golden Lions – ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division
  • 2008 – Auto & General Lions – Vodacom Super 14, Xerox Lions – ABSA Currie Cup Compulsory Friendlies, Xerox Lions – ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division, South Africa – IRB Sevens Series (Dubai & George)
  • 2009 – South Africa – IRB Men’s Rugby World Cup Sevens, South Africa – IRB Sevens Series (Dubai & George), Southern Kings – British & Irish Lions Tour
  • 2011 – Toyota Cheetahs – Vodacom Super Rugby, Emergin Cheetahs – ABSA Currie Cup Compulsory Friendlies, Toyota Free State Cheetahs – ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division
  • 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, South Africa – IRB Rugby World Cup Sevens, Toyota Free State Cheetahs – ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division

 

Name: Jacobus Nicolaas “Nico” Scheepers:

Position Fullback / Wing
Height 1.87m
Weight 100kg
Date of Birth 27 February 1990
Place of Birth Port Eilizabeth
Provincial Debut 2010
Provincial Caps 32
Provincial Points 235
Super Rugby Debut 2012
Super Rugby Caps 3
Super Rugby Points 0
Test Debut
Test Caps 0
Test Points 0
Nico Scheepers

Nico Scheepers is a product of Gamtoosvallei Primary School, Gamtoosvallei High School and University of the Free State (Shimlas).

He started his career in 2008 at Under 18 level for Eastern Province. In 2009 he made a move to the Cheetahs where he represented them at Under 19 level and remained at the Cheetahs until 2013 when he made a move to represent the Griquas in the 2013 Currie Cup season. He was also part of the Junior Springbok squad in 2010.

Scheepers is a very good replacement to have in your side and he is a good runner with ball in hand and can kick at goal as well. He is also not likely to see too much game time with all the talent in the Toyota Cheetahs squad but he gives that bit of comfort, due to his versatility as a utility back.

His playing career is as follows:

  • 2008 – Eastern Province – U18 Academy Week
  • 2009 – Free State – ABSA Under 19 Competition
  • 2010 – Free State – Vodacom Cup, South Africa- IRB Junior World Championships, Free State – ABSA Under 21 Competition
  • 2011 – Toyota Free State Cheetahs – Vodacom Cup, Emerging Cheetahs – ABSA Currie Cup Compulsory Friendlies, Toyota Free State Cheetahs – ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division, Free State – ABSA Under 21 Competition
  • 2012 – Shimlas – Varsity Cup, Toyota Cheetahs – Vodacom Super Rugby, Toyota Free State Cheetahs – Vodacom Cup, Toyota Free State Cheetahs – ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division, Toyota Free State Cheetahs – ABSA Currie Cup Promotion / Relegation
  • 2013 – Toyota Free State XV – Vodacom Cup, Shimlas – Varsity Cup, GWK Griquas – ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division, GWK Griquas – ABSA Currie Cup Promotion / Relegation

 

Starters:

Once again the Cheetahs seem to have enough quality cover in their Back Three as with almost all of their other positions in 2014. Picking a starting combination in this squad is a no-brainer, picking the replacement bench is going to be more difficult as the possibilities are quite vast.

Starting combination in the Back Three fot this team would be Raymond Rhule at No 11 (left wing), Willie le Roux at No 14 (right wing), with Hennie Daniller at No 15 (fullback).

I would not mind seeing this combination – Raymond Rhule at No 11, Nico Scheepers at No 14 and Willie le Roux at No 15.

Time will tell with this squad, they seem to have good cover in all positions and it would be great if the Cheetahs could relive or improve on last season’s form.


RugbyIQ


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