Baby Bok flyer off to Cheetahs
Brenden Nel, SuperSport
Bloemfontein - The Cheetahs may be undergoing a bit of a player exodus at the moment, but they have snapped up some exceptional young talent for next year’s Super Rugby series.
The supersport.com website reports that the Cheetahs have signed former Kings and SA under-20 winger Sergeal Petersen for next year’s competition after his contract ends at the end of this season.
While Petersen will stay with the Kings for the Currie Cup for 2014 and 2015, he has done a deal with the Cheetahs and will give coach Naka Drotské a lot more options alongside his two Springboks Willie le Roux and Cornal Hendricks in the backline.
The Cheetahs have also contracted Pumas and Lions fullback Coenie van Wyk for next season after he impressed in his debut season with the Lions this year and also gives them another exciting option in their back three.
Van Wyk, who was loaned to the Lions along with Faf de Klerk from the Pumas, will finish out the year in Nelspruit before moving to Bloemfontein for the new season.
The Cheetahs last month also snapped up former Tuks, Blue Bulls and current Lions flyhalf Willie du Plessis, who will give them back-up to Elgar Watts for the upcoming season after getting little playing time in Johannesburg since his move last season to the Lions.
Du Plessis was in the Tuks side that won the Varsity Cup two years ago and it will be interesting to see what he does with the opportunity at Super Rugby level.
Negotiations are advanced to bring former Bulls and Lions prop Bees Roux to Bloemfontein, as he ends his association with the Lions and his contract should be completed in the next few days.
The signings are sure to offset the losses the Cheetahs have as already they have lost the likes of Johan Goosen to Racing Metro in France and are set to lose Springboks Trevor Nyakane (Stormers/Bulls) and captain Adriaan Strauss (Bulls).
Other players who have confirmed their moves include fullback Hennie Daniller to Zebre in Italy, Riaan 'True Blue' Smit to Oyonnax in France, Ligtoring Landman (Newport and Gwent Dragons), Nick Schonert (Worcester Warriors), Kevin Luiters (EP Kings) and Andries Ferreira (Zebre).
Lappies Labuschagne is another who is set to leave the province, and is considering offers from the Bulls and Sharks respectively.
Add to this the name of midfielder Piet Lindeque who has apparently been released from his contract to concentrate rather on his farming business and the new signings couldn’t come at a better time.