The Cell C Sharks are continuing to raid the ranks of the Toyota Cheetahs, with loose forward Philip van der Walt the latest capture.
It was confirmed that the 25-year-old, who had just returned from a stint with Biarritz in France, will join up with the Sharks before the start of the Currie Cup season in August.
Christoffel Philippus van der Walt, who played 80-odd games for the Cheetahs (Super Rugby) and Free State (Currie Cup), moved to Biarritz in 2014 – where he made 22 appearances.
Biarritz, with a rich history in French and European competitions, were crowned French champions 5 times – 1935, 1939, 2002, 2005 and 2006. They also beat Top 14 rivals Toulon 21 / 18 in the 2012 European Challenge Cup (secondary competition) in 2012.
However, Biarritz went into a major slump during the 2013 / 2014 Top 14 season and ended up being relegated to the Pro D2 (Second Division) for the 2014 / 2015 season.
The signing of Van der Walt is another coup for the Sharks, who are in the process of ‘rebuilding’ the team under the guidance of Director of Rugby Gary Gold – with several season players set to depart after this year’s World Cup.
The Cheetahs have made 1 change to the team that beat the Blues last weekend with Springbok Sevens star Johannes Prinsloo starting on the flank against the Bulls.
Prinsloo, who has made a big impact coming off the bench in the Cheetahs’ 2 games against the Sharks and Blues thus far, gets his shot due to an injury to No 8 Willie Britz.
Coach Naka Drotske has moved Jean Cook into the vancant No 8 position and put Prinsloo onto the side of the scrum.
The only other change comes on the bench where former Sharks and Southern Kings lock Steven Sykes enters the matchday-23.
Toyota Cheetahs coach Naka Drotské has named a powerful team, including all his available Springboks, to face the Griffons in their final Super Rugby pre-season outing on Wednesday.
Fullback Willie le Roux tops the list of Bok stars that will run out at the Old Greys club in Bloemfontein.
Le Roux has overcome an ankle strain he suffered in last Friday’s loss to the Stormers.
Other Boks having a run include wings Cornal Hendricks and Raymond Rhule, flank Teboho ‘Oupa’ Mohoje, lock Lodewyk ‘Lood’ de Jager and prop Coenie Oosthuizen.
The Cheetahs have paid the price for a bruising win against the Griquas on Saturday with Luan de Bruin, Elgar Watts and Johannes “Boom” Prinsloo looking set to miss their clash against the Sharks.
The Free State Stadium turned into a minor battlefield on Saturday with medical teams having to stretcher players off on more than one occasion.
The Cheetahs will not able to call on the services of Heinrich Brüssow for their Super Rugby clash against the Sharks in Bloemfontein on Saturday.
Coach Naka Drotské said that the loose forward is still struggling with a groin injury and won’t be risked for the game.
Philip van der Walt (hand) and Jean Cook (shoulder) are ready for action again, while Oupa Mohoje has also returned from the Springboks.
Die Cheetahs agsteman, Johannes ‘Boom’ Prinsloo, het sy betrokkenheid met die Bloemfontein-gebasseerde eenheid verleng tot aan die einde van 2015.
Die 25-jarige wat ‘n uitnemende en vooraanstaande verhouding en geskiedenis met die SA Sewes Blitzbokke gehad het, het gesê hy is gelukkig by die Cheetahs en sien geen rede om daaraan te verander nie.
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.
Boom Prinsloo has been named as captain of the Toyota Free State Cheetahs for their opening Currie Cup encounter against the MTN Golden Lions in Johannesburg on Saturday.
In years past, this was a position the Cheetahs could make their team selections with their eyes closed. With legends like Juan Smith in particular, giving yeoman service.
Long term injuries and player movements has temporarily thrown the proverbial spanner in the works, resulting in Naka having to recall Hendro Scholtz out of retirement to have a fit flanker in the 2012 Currie Cup.
However the emergence of a few young stars has restored order. Marnus Schoeman has started delivering on the hype anticipated when he was still a junior with the Blue Bulls. Lappies Labuschagne and Justin Downey have grown in their positions, which leaves Naka Drotske spoilt for choice.
Amidst the recent hype about players leaving the Cheetahs, and some people speculating about the reasons for it, Naka has just gone about his business, and bolstered his ranks. Loose forwards Lappies Labuschagne, and 7’s specialist Boom Prinsloo have both signed until the end of 2014. Both Boom and Lappies played with great success in last years Currie Cup, and together with Heinrich Brussow, Phillip van der Walt and hopefully Juan Smith, can again form a formidable loose trio.