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Raymond Rhule

Philip van der Walt

Philip van der Walt

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.

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Willie le Roux

Willie le Roux

Cornal Hendricks

Cornal Hendricks

With the player transfer window in South Africa looming large from 1 July, there is a lot of movement already in player signings.

Willie le Roux has opted not to renew with the Cheetahs and will in stead go to Japan for the remainder of the year after Super Rugby and International committments, whereafter he will return to South Africa but join the Cell C Sharks for the 2016 Super Rugby season.

Cornal Hendricks has also asked for permission to start negotiating with other interested parties, although the transfer window for negotiations will only be open from 1 July.

But the Cheetahs are not the only Franchise hit hard, at the Bulls, Francois Hougaard has signed in Japan for the Canon Eagles, the same Club which Willie le Roux has signed for and has not re-committed to the Bulls for Super Rugby in 2016.

Also at the Bulls, William Small-Smith has requested permission to also start early negotiations with 3rd parties, earlier than the 1 July Transfer Window’s opening.

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Naka Drotské

Naka Drotské

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.

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This is the 8th and last in the series of Cheetahs Squad Contenders for Super Rugby 2014. We did 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 BACK THREE in the Toyota Cheetahs 2014 Super Rugby group, and whether they could force their way into Bok contention.

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The Cheetahs have assembled some real speed merchants in their wider training squad, and the competition will be fierce for starting spots. With players like Piet van Zyl, Johan Goosen, Robert Ebersohn and Johann Sadie, one can expect the pace men to get plenty of opportunity to stretch the hamstrings.

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Amongst all the frenetic activity on the international scene, the silly season has gone into full swing. So lets see what the player accquisitions are for the Cheetahs, looking ahead to 2013. In addition lets look at some players that are making waves.

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