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Toyota Cheetahs

Joe Pietersen

Joe Pietersen

The Toyota Cheetahs have named former Stormers fullback Joe Pietersen at flyhalf for their Super Rugby Round 1 clash with the Sharks in Durban on Saturday.

Pietersen is an unknown entity at flyhalf having spent most of his time running from the back for the Stormers and for French club Biarritz, where he made 17 appearances.

In the front row, Springbok Coenie Oosthuizen packs down at tighthead alongside Currie Cup captain and Namibian international Torsten van Jaarsveld.

Former Sharks prop Danie Minnie solidifies the front line of the scrum.

At lock there is room for another Springbok in Lodewyk de Jager who pairs up with new captain Francois Uys.

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Steven Sykes

Steven Sykes

Former Sharks lock Steven Sykes has joined the Cheetahs squad as they prepare for the Super Rugby competition.

According to reports, it remains unsure if Sykes has signed a contract with the Cheetahs or just training in Bloemfontein on a trial period.

Sykes will compete for a spot in the Cheetahs’ Super Rugby team with the likes of Lood de Jager, Francois Uys, Carl Wegner and Armandt Koster.

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Francois Uys

Francois Uys

The Cheetahs, in a surprise move, named Francois Uys as their captain for the Super Rugby season.

Uys will be leading the team, joined by the vice-captain Sarel Pretorius.

The ‘well-informed’ media in Bloemfontein have been speculating for weeks that Japan-based Springbok Heinrich Brüssow would get the leadership armband.

However, coach Naka Drotské decided to go with Uys – starting from Saturday, when they take on the South African conference champions, the Cell C Sharks, in Durban.

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CheetahsThe Cheetahs ran in 10 tries to the Griffons 1 in what can only be described as a practice match as the men from Bloemfontein tweaked their final preparations.

What this match did allow was for Naka Drotske and his staff to get a clearer picture of the Cheetahs best centre pairing with Francois Venter, Michael van der Spuy and Johann Sadie looking sharp – however, JW Jonker not in action.

Venter looked especially good and was on song against the Griffons as he slipped between inside and outside centre with ease.

A Shoulder injury kept him out of most of the 2014 Super Rugby season but this could be the year for him to step up.

Hawies Fourie, the Cheetahs’ backline coach, has a pleasant problem of who will begin in the centres in next weekend’s Sharks game.

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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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Heinrich Brussow

Heinrich Brussow

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.

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CheetahsCheetahs coach Naka Drotske admits that the lack of tight five depth is a concern headng into the Super Rugby season.

The Bloemfontein side have lost the services of Springbok front row forwards Adriaan Strauss and Trevor Nyakane who have both moved to the Bulls, which has left them looking decidedly thin on options up front.

Drotske gave some of the fringe players a chance to make a case for selection against the Stormers at Newlands on Friday, but they battled to assert themselves on the Stormers pack until Springboks Coenie Oosthuizen and Lodewyk de Jager took to the pitch in the second half.

The Cheetahs coach said that whilst he is happy with the depth in the backline and loose forwards, the lack of quality tight five options remains a concern.

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Sarel Pretorius

Sarel Pretorius

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.

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Willie Britz

Willie Britz

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.

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DHL StormersDHL 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.

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Duncan Matthews

Duncan Matthews

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.

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Sergeal Petersen

Sergeal Petersen

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.

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BullsThe 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.

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Francois Uys

Francois Uys

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.

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CheetahsThe 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.

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CheetahsSuper 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.

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Super RugbyWith 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.

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Cheetahs

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.

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Willie le Roux

Willie le Roux

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.

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CheetahsIn 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.

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Rugby-Talk.com

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!

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Toyota Cheetahs 2015 Home & Away Jerseys

Toyota Cheetahs 2015 Home & Away Jerseys

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.

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Super Rugby

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.

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Lindsay Mould

Lindsay Mould

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.

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CheetahsCheetahs 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.

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CheetahsIs 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.

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Derick Minnie

“Cheers vir eers!” Derick Minnie op pad vorentoe Saterdag teen die Bloubulle op Ellispark.

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.

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Adriaan Strauss

Adriaan Strauss

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.

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Adriaan Strauss

Adriaan Strauss who earlier this week was seen wearing a Cheetah jersey at the unveiling of the new look kit.

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.

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Rossouw de KlerkGlasgow 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.

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Coenie van Wyk

Coenie van Wyk

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.

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Joe Pietersen

Ex- Stormers & Biarritz utility back, Joe Pietersen

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.

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