Cheetahs coach Naka Drotské has dropped a selection bomb by axing star loose forward Pieter Labuschagne ahead of the Super Rugby Round 6 encounter with the Blues on Saturday.
Drotské made a number of changes to the team – all surprising selection – as the men from Bloemfontein look to end their losing streak on tour.
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.
This edition looks at the selection of loose forwards. One area where the Boks, and in particular the Cheetahs have been strong.
This one is lengthy, as a few players have announced themselves during the injury crisis last year. No doubt there will be hot debate, but what is sure is that the Cheetahs have options aplenty, and may just have the most balanced and exciting backrow in SA, and will be one of the best in the tournament!
Let’s hope in the interests of Cheetahs and Bok rugby, that Juan, and Ratel will stay relatively injury free in 2012.
Despite a distinct lack of communications to the media over the last week from the GLRU regarding the talks with the sponsors, recent communications indicate that MTN are still on board as an investor in the Johannesburg based Rugby Union.
The absence of information will always lead to speculation, and whether it is fair or not, you would think that the Lions Rugby Union would have realised this after years of accusations of financial and administrative mismanagement.