The Toyota Cheetahs were dealt a big blow when it was learnt that Springbok lock Lood de Jager will be out of action for between 6 and 8 weeks with an elbow injury.
De Jager was forced off the field in the Cheetahs win over the Cell C Sharks early on in Durban on Saturday and while the good news is that there isn’t a bone fracture, the injury will mean he will miss close to 2 months of Vodacom Super Rugby action.
The injury has been tempered by the fact the Cheetahs have a bye this week, with all players being given most of the week off until they reassemble on Thursday to start preparing for next weekend’s game against the Blues in Bloemfontein.
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 will this week welcome back flank Heinrich Brüssow and centre Johann Sadie from Japan.
The duo play for the Docomo Red Hurricanes and their return to Bloemfontein was dependent on how far the Hurricanes would go in the knockout rounds in Japan.
The Hurricanes this past weekend lost in the semi-finals of the wildcard tournament, which is contested between the sides finishing fifth to 12th in the Japanese league.
His brief was just to complete his 30 minutes of rugby and walk off the field uninjured. However his time on the field showed why his return has been so keenly anticipated, not only by the Cheetahs fans but by most rugby lovers. He hardly looked as if he had been away from the game for two years.
The departure of Andries Strauss to the Kings, and the arrival of Johann Sadie, will ensure a new midfield combination. There is talk of Robert Ebersohn reverting back to inside centre where he played at school level, and using Johann Sadie at outside centre. This could be an enticing option, but there are however other possibilities.
Johann Sadie will start in his first Currie Cup match for the Vodacom Blue Bulls.
The attacking midfielder has been included in the side to face The Sharks at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday and is one of four changes made by coach Pine Pienaar.
Loose forward Arno Botha will miss this week’s Absa Currie Cup clash against the Toyota Free State due to a hamstring injury, but midfielder Johann Sadie will be fit for selection.
Bulls midfielder Johann Sadie may be the first high-profile player to opt for a dual-contract, allowing him to play both Sevens and provincial rugby in the near future.
In what is regarded as an significant coup for Cheetahs rugby, Volksblad reported this morning that it is confirmed that Johann Sadie, the promising WP star, who joined the Bulls earlier this, is heading to Bloemfontein to join the Cheetahs. It is believed that he will flourish in the Cheetahs playing pattern. Lack of game time, and a host of other players in the center position at the Bulls led to the players frustration.
Whilst the Cheetahs are not involved in further participation of the Super 15, some interesting players signings bode well for the Cheetahs 2013 season. Of course more players will sign, and some will leave, but it is interesting to note the movements.
The Bulls have announced a nearly full strength team to take on the defending Champions this weekend.
We all know rugby is not a sport for sissies, and so it was on Friday for Johan Sadie too, when he sustained an AC Jojnt injury after barely 11 minutes in the Super Rugby game against the Sharks, which will keep him out injured for about 3 weeks. The good news though is that Wynand Olivier is ready again to step into the fold again.
Lionel Cronjé, another of the signings from down South, is not so lucky though, he sustained a pectoral muscle tear which will have to be operated on, in the friendly game between the Vodacom Blue Bulls against the Sharks XV side.
Other Bulls still recovering include Arno Botha, Morné Mellett, Dewald Potgieter & Rossouw de Klerk.