Cheetahs scrumhalf Sarel Pretorius will join Welsh side Newport Gwent Dragons after this year’s Super Rugby competition.
The Dragons announced the news via their official website on Friday, saying the 30-year-old has signed a long-term deal.
Speaking after putting pen to paper, Pretorius commented: “I am delighted to have signed for the Dragons.
Willie Britz will lead the Cheetah when they tackle the Stormers in a Super Rugby pre-season outing at Newlands on Friday (today).
Britz, recruited from the Lions in the off-season, takes over from Francois Uys – who was captain in the 13 / 30 loss to the Bulls last week – as the Cheetahs continue to rotate team leaders during the build-up to their season opener against the Sharks on 14 February.
The permanent Cheetahs captain for the 2015 Super Rugby competition will only be announced early February.
It is expected that Heinrich Brüssow will get the job once he returns from his Japanese club commitments.
The team that travels to Newlands shows 13 changes from that which lost to the Bulls in Polokwane.
Only loose forwards Britz and Jean Cook retained their places in the starting 15.
DHL Stormers coach Allister Coetzee has announced a powerful line-up for Friday night’s friendly clash against the Cheetahs at DHL Newlands (Kick-Off 19:00 SA Time).
As expected, Springbok lock Eben Etzebeth will start in his first match of 2015, his first appearance in a DHL Stormers jersey since 2013, whilst talented youngster Huw Jones gets a run at inside centre – his first start for the DHL Stormers – after Damian de Allende was ruled out with a slight quadriceps tear.
“It’s a slight tear, so we could’ve pushed Damian if, say, we were playing in a final,” said Coetzee on the www.iamastormer.com website. “It’s not serious, but we didn’t want to risk him at this stage of our pre-season preparations.”
Demetri Catrakilis, after missing last weekend’s trip to George with a stomach ailment, will start at flyhalf, whilst ABSA Currie Cup-winning lock Jean Kleyn has been named amongst the replacements after recovering from a knee (meniscus) injury which delayed his start to his team’s pre-season programme.
The Bulls overcame a slow start to finish strongly and post a 30-13 triumph over the Cheetahs in a Super Rugby pre-season friendly at Polokwane.
Scrumhalf Piet van Zyl bagged a second half double as the men from Pretoria ran away with the match which was separated by just 3 points midway through the second half.
Duncan Matthews also found the line thanks to a well-timed intercept while Jesse Kriel dictated the game from fullback, looking very much at home in the No 15 jersey.
New recruit, Trevor Nyakane, was a late withdrawal due to a strained neck muscle, but in more positive injury news, Arno Botha completed the match without incident in what was his first appearance since damaging his ACL a year ago.
The Toyota Cheetahs have been dealt their first massive injury blow of the season when news filtered through that former SA Under 20 winger Sergeal Pietersen broke his jaw during Saturday’s pre-season friendly against the Vodacom Bulls in Polokwane.
Pietersen, who transferred to Bloemfontein from the EP Kings at the end of last season, went off the field early after a clash with a defender and was replaced by Clayton Blommetjies.
Cheetahs coach Naka Drotske confirmed that it would be a lengthy spell on the sidelines for Pietersen, who is a dynamite finisher.
“It looks like we’ve lost him for between 6 and 8 weeks,” Drotske said.
The Vodacom Bulls have named their team to face the Toyota Cheetahs in Polokwane on Saturday.
Saracens & the Blue Bulls have also published a Vodacom Blue Bulls squad for the encounter the following week in London.
Toyota Cheetahs in Polokwane:
New Vodacom Bulls recruits Lappies Labuschagne and Trevor Nyakane will face their former Toyota Cheetahs teammates in Polokwane on Saturday when the two Vodacom Super Rugby sides clash in a friendly match in the Peter Mokaba Stadium.
Flanker Labuschagne and Nyakane, who was selected at loosehead prop, moved north at the start of the season and will be part of the first hit-out of the season for the Pretoria side.
Francois Uys will lead a strong Toyota Cheetahs side into battle when they travel to Polokwane to take on the Vodacom Bulls in their pre-season friendly on Saturday.
Uys has been appointed captain for the game, with coach Naka Drotske opting to choose a captain later before the start of the season.
Still, the Cheetahs team includes a host of new recruits, as well as two Springboks in Coenie Oosthuizen and Lood de Jager up front as they gear up for a tough Vodacom Super Rugby season.
The Toyota Cheetahs’ preparations for Super Rugby this week reports on fitness niggles to Willie le Roux and Oupa Mahoje and also reports that Rayno Benjamin will miss the start of Super Rugby due to Sevens committments with the Blitzbokke for the first 2 weeks in February.
In addition the battle for the flyhalf spot between Joe Pietersen, Willie du Plessis and Francois Brummer, seems to be dominating the attention of the media, with speculation that Joe Pietersen seems to be the favourite, after the warm-up games to get Round 1’s starting spot.
Maks van Dyk, who has been on short term loan with Leinster in Ireland, to get valuable game time reports that he is enjoying his short Northern sojourn.
Super Rugby preparations is also underway in Bloemfontein, in anticipation of the 2015 season.
News is that Joe Pietersen who previously played at fullback for the Stormers and then went to France to try things there, is back at the Cheetahs… to exclusively play flyhalf. Pietersen is a product of Grey College in Bloemfontein.
Heinrich Brüssow, who is currently still in Japan with the NTT Docomo Red Hurricanes, before joining the Cheetahs for Super Rugby (as soon as his Japanese Club’s season ends) says that the standards of rugby in Japan has improved markedly.
The Cheetahs start their Super Rugby campaign with an away game against the Sharks in Durban on 14 February.
With Super Rugby fast approaching it is important to have a look at what each of the teams are doing in their preparations and who they have at their disposal.
As the teams prepare for this brusing competition there is the oppourtunity to test out combanations as well as see how the new boys go.
The Sharks will travel to French champions Toloun to test out their game plan against the Galacticos of rugby while the Bulls will take on the Cheetahs in a traditional pre-season match in Polokwane.
The Australasian sides will also warm up against each other with the Highlanders setting up a comprehensive pre-season schedule due to the first round bye.
The ‘transfer market’ has made the upcoming Super Rugby season an exciting prospect with some big names in James O’Connor and Nick Cummins returning to Australia.
Menawhile, the Bulls have bolstered their squad with some excellent former Cheetahs players.
Finally, and unsurprizingly, Ma’a Nonu has made another move – this time back to the Hurricanes.
This is the second article in the series of Cheetahs Squad Contenders for Super Rugby 2015.
The Cheetahs have lost the services of a number of players between seasons and the hooker position is one severely affected by the loss of Adriaan Strauss (Bulls) and Hercu Liebenberg (released).
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 HOOKERS in the Toyota Cheetahs 2014 Super Rugby group, and whether they could force their way into Bok contention.
Things are looking rather bleak in the hooker department and in the whole front row for the Cheetahs.
Springbok Willie le Roux will be able to write his own salary cheque after next year’s World Cup.
According to media reports French giants Toulouse head an impressive list of clubs interested in the 25-year-old’s services.
English Premiership outfit Saracens and ‘several’ Japanese teams have put Le Roux on their wish list.
Le Roux is contracted to the Cheetahs until November next year and will be in the transfer market for the 2015 / 2016 season.
In December’s discussions of the Super Rugby squad contenders for 2015, we discuss 2 positions in seperate Articles (Props & Hookers) and also seperate the Articles of the 5 SA Super Rugby participating franchises.
Work committments interfered a bit with my plans to start these articles at the hefty pace of 10 Super Rugby Articles every week, as today is the final day of the 1st week and this only represents the 3rd Article in the range, 7 behind schedule… but with a plan to radically catch up after the Christmas festivities and whilst leisurely following the 5-Day Cricket Test between South Africa and the West Indies which starts on Boxing Day (26 December).
The basic idea is to discuss the players IN the Super Rugby Group, and not all the options beyond that.
In this Article we look at the contenders for PROPS in the Toyota Cheetahs 2015 Super Rugby group, and whether they could force their way into Bok contention.
It is officially the dreaded OFF-SEASON for Southern Hemisphere rugby, so it means under normal circumstances that we would be going into withdrawal system mode very, very soon… but NEVER here on Rugby-Talk.com.
As from this week (sometime), we will be starting IN DEPTH DISCUSSIONS on the INDIVIDUAL POSITIONS and the PLAYERS who will be filling these positions for the 5 South African Super Rugby Franchises.
That alone means 40 Articles to feast on (8 per Franchise), at a rate of 2 per midweek day, therefor roughly 10 per week, and subsequently it will take us roughly 4 weeks to complete… which basically covers most of the off-season.
But, that is not all folks, we will also be covering INTERNATIONAL CRICKET and some of the NORTHERN HEMISPHERE RUGBY.
In addition we will have a Christmas and New Year’s message, which has also proven popular over the years.
So, lots to look forward to, hold on to your boots!
PUMA has revealed the new Cheetahs kit for Super Rugby 2015, which focuses on the team’s two distinct colours – orange and ‘pou blou’ turquoise, rounded off with purple numbers and trimmings – but with a shift to orange for the home kit.
“The latest PUMA kit for the Toyota Cheetahs is something of a landmark,” says PUMA South Africa’s Marketing Director Brett Bellinger.
“Traditionally the home kit has been marked by a largely white-based treatment with the away kit being orange.
Springbok fullback Willie le Roux has been named Cheetahs Rugby Player of the Year for 2015.
Le Roux received the award at the Free State Rugby Union’s year-end function.
The Bok fullback was earlier also shortlisted for World Rugby’s Player of the Year, but lost out to New Zealand lock Brodie Retallick.
Some news titbits from all over, in preparation for the 2015 Super Rugby season.
- Willie Brits, the popular lion-looking Xerox Lion, has made his move back to the Toyota Cheetahs for 2015.
- Ben Afeaki, Chiefs prop, who has ongoing concussion problems will have to decide his future and consider possible retirement.
- The Force will celebrate its 10th Super Rugby season by returning one of the club’s favourite sons, Tai McIsaac, to its coaching staff for the next three years.
- South African-born lock Marco Kotze has become the 11th Queensland-based National Rugby Championship player to be contracted by the Reds.
The nominations for the presidency of the Free State Rugby Union as well as for the directors of the Free State Cheetahs (Pty) Ltd. concluded on Tuesday.
No new nominations were received.
Lindsay Mould was therefore re-appointed as president for a term of another three years.
Cheetahs coach Naka Drotske has named a larger training group ahead of next year’s Super Rugby competition.
According to reports, there are nine new recruits and two Under 21 players in the squad.
Wing Sergeal Petersen, utility back Joe Pietersen, No 8 Willie Britz, centre JW Jonker, prop BG Uys, flank Devin Oosthuizen, utility back Coenie van Wyk, prop Danie Mienie and flyhalf Clinton Swart are the newcomers in the 55-man squad.
Youngsters Nico Lee (centre) and Tienie Burger (flank) were also added as newcomers.
Is there something brewing in the corridors of the Free State Rugby Union?
Remember that one of the reasons Adriaan Strauss gave for taking the offer at the Bulls was due to the fact that he and the board of the Free State Rugby could not come to an agreement regarding an independent audit.
According to Volksblad, the breakdown in negotiations is said to have surrounded a clause involving an independent investigation into Cheetahs rugby.
While Strauss had advocated that a fresh perspective was required to move the team forward, the move was refused by the Cheetahs.
Niemand wil dit hard sê nie, maar almal weet dit: Suid-Afrikaanse rugby is in die #2%$.
Vir diegene wat onlangs uit ’n diep slaap uit ontwaak het, hier is die feite: Net een Suid-Afrikaanse span kon dit tot in ’n Super Rugby semi-finaal maak. En daar het hulle ook in die pomp geduik. Die ander klomp – die Bulle, Stormers, Leeus en Cheetahs het redelik swak gedoen.
Hoe kan ’n land soos Suid-Afrika, wat meer spelers as Nieu-Seeland en Australië saam het, so sleg uit die bus uit bliksem?
Om daardie vraag te beantwoord, moet ons teruggaan tot ons terugkeer tot internasionale rugby in 1992.
Dan sal ons sien dat ons intussen nooit pasaangeërs was nie. Nie met taktiek nie en nie met afrigting nie.
Italian club Zebre have welcomed the arrival of Hennie Daniller and Andries Ferreira from the Cheetahs.
Fullback Daniller and lock Ferreira arrived in the northern Italian city of Parma this week ahead of the Northern Hemisphere season.
Springbok hooker Adriaan Strauss has broken his silence, saying he is excited at the prospect of moving to the Bulls at the end of the season.
The Bulls officially announced the move on Monday, but Strauss revealed exclusively to the supersport.com website that his decision was taken to further his career.
Strauss signed a two-year contract to move to the Bulls, following fellow Cheetahs players Trevor Nyakane and Lappies Labuschagné who will also line up for the Pretoria franchise in next year’s Super Rugby competition.
In a somewhat confusing week for Adriaan Strauss fans, the big question is, did he or didn’t he? Conflicting reports indicate that he signed for the Bulls, and others that he will be remaining at the Cheetahs.
Earlier this week, at the unveiling of the new Blue Bulls and Free State Cheetahs jerseys for the 2014 Currie Cup, Strauss was the poster boy for the Cheetahs.
What I find strange though, is a specific question asked to him during a Q & A session. Have a look at question No. 8 posed to him and decide whether that was already a dead giveaway.
Glasgow Warriors have signed South African prop Rossouw de Klerk from the Cheetahs, subject to a visa and medical.
The 24-year-old has put pen to paper on a two-year deal at Scotstoun and will join up with Gregor Townsend’s squad for pre-season training at the end of the month.
The 1.85m tighthead began his senior career in Pretoria, making his debut for the Blue Bulls in 2009. He went on to make 41 appearances for them, 14 of which were in Super Rugby.
In 2013 de Klerk joined the Cheetahs and has made 14 appearances in the Vodacom Cup and Currie Cup and has played seven times in Super Rugby this season.
The Cheetahs have added another exciting backline player to their stocks after securing the services of Pumas fullback Coenie van Wyk.
The 26-year-old, who represented the Lions with aplomb in this year’s Super Rugby competition, will join the Cheetahs after this year’s Currie Cup.
Van Wyk will join the Cheetahs on a two-year deal.
The Cheetahs have found a replacement for flyhalf Johan Goosen who will leave them to further his career in France.
According to reports, former Stormers back Joe Pietersen will play for the Cheetahs in next year’s Super Rugby competition.
Lions (27) 60 / 25 (13) Cheetahs (Final Score)
The Lions and Toyota Cheetahs did battle in Super Rugby at
Ellis Park, Johannesburg at 17:05 SA Time (15:05 GMT).
This was the live match discussion Article.
The match was broadcast LIVE on SuperSport 1, SHD & M-Net on TV in SA.
The Toyota Cheetahs continued to replenish their player cabinet as it has emerged that they are close to completing the signing of Lions ‘wildman’, Willie Britz for the coming season.
This comes after the Bloemfontein side confirmed the signings of three other Lions players – prop Bees Roux, flyhalf Willie du Plessis and utility back Coenie van Wyk for the coming season.
The Cheetahs have also signed Montpellier midfielder JP du Plessis and have an agreement for SA Under 20 winger Sergeal Peterson to represent them at Super Rugby level this year.
The Toyota Cheetahs have made another signing, luring former Melbourne Rebels and Stormers midfielder JP du Plessis back to South Africa from Montpellier.
Du Plessis, one of the most promising midfielders to emerge from Paul Roos, had a stint in rugby league with the Sydney Roosters after school before returning to Rugby Union with the Melbourne Rebels.
He made his Vodacom Super Rugby debut against the Hurricanes in the same year but returned to South Africa in 2012 and signed with the DHL Stormers.
Any hopes of a dramatic return for Heinrich Brüssow have been squashed, meaning the Cheetahs will retain their winning formula for the last match of the season.
The men from Bloemfontein head to Johannesburg on Saturday to take on the resurgent Lions – a team looking to end their season with a three-match winning streak.
However, the Cheetahs will be without star the Springbok flank, Brüssow, who also missed last weekend’s 27-20 win over the Sharks due a groin injury.
“Heins will undergo groin surgery and will not play,” Cheetahs coach Naka Drotské said, ahead of his team’s trip to Ellis Park.
The Eastern Province Kings say there is no loan agreement for wing Sergeal Petersen to represent the Cheetahs in Super Rugby next year.
It was reported on Monday that the Baby Bok flyer has signed a deal to play Super Rugby with the Cheetahs before returning to play Currie Cup for the Kings.
However, EP Rugby CEO Charl Crous denied this move via a media statement on Tuesday.
The Cell C Sharks will be the only South African team contesting the Vodacom Super Rugby playoffs this year after the Vodacom Bulls slipped up in Cape Town on Saturday afternoon, shortly before the KwaZulu-Natalians’ title hopes were dealt a blow in Bloemfontein.
The team from Durban dropped one position to third on the overall standings after their shock defeat by 27-20 to the Toyota Cheetahs at the Free State Stadium. It was arguably the team from Bloemfontein’s best performance of the season as they moved up from the last spot on the log to 14th.
Earlier on Saturday afternoon, the DHL Stormers recorded the fourth-ever clean sheet in a local derby when they beat the Vodacom Bulls by 16-0 at DHL Newlands. Just before the June-break, the Capetonians did the same when they beat the Toyota Cheetahs by 33-0 in Cape Town.
It will be only the third time in the last 10 years that the Vodacom Bulls will not feature in the playoffs.
The other two times a South African side failed to score any points in local derbies, were in 1999 when the Cell C Sharks beat the Vodacom Bulls by 29-0, while the team from Pretoria beat the Southern Kings by 34-0 last year.
In total, it was the sixth time ever a South African team were kept point-less in Vodacom Super Rugby and the Vodacom Bulls’ third zero. The Pretorians lost 27-0 to the Crusaders in Timaru in 2011 and the DHL Stormers lost 22-0 to the Crusaders in Cape Town in 2008.
On Friday evening, the Lions recorded their sixth win of the season when they beat the Rebels by 34-17 at Ellis Park, meaning 2014 will go down as the most successful for the team based in Johannesburg since the Cats franchise was dissolved before the 2006-season. Their previous best was five wins in 2007.
Cheetahs captain Adriaan Strauss lauded his team’s efforts in their 27-20 victory over the Sharks in Bloemfontein on Saturday.
“Everyone, including the guys coming off the bench, had a good game,” said Strauss after the match.
“They really put up their hands and played for one another.
“A lot of the guys leave at the end of the season and we wanted to give them a good farewell at our home ground.
“I think we achieved that. Next we face the Lions away and we will be looking for another good performance to round things off.”
Cheetahs (17) 27 / 20 (13) Sharks (Final Score)
The Toyota Cheetahs and Cell C Sharks did battle in Super Rugby at
Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein at 19:10 SA Time (17:10 GMT).
This was the live match discussion Article.
The match was broadcast LIVE on SuperSport 1, SHD & M-Net on TV in SA.