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Cheetah wanted in Europe
Louis Strydom (Gallo Images)
Bloemfontein – It’s not just the Bulls’ players that are sought-after world-wide.
A number of European clubs are chasing the signature of Cheetahs flyhalf Louis Strydom.
Sport24 understands that 30-year-old Strydom, who has a contract until the end of 2012 with Free State, is on the shopping list of at least three European teams.
No formal offers have been tabled and it may be months before he moves, but Strydom may well finish his career overseas.
The news follows Sport24’s report that Bulls players such as Bakkies Botha, Danie Rossouw, Gurthrö Steenkamp, Gary Botha, Wynand Olivier and wing Gerhard van den Heever are in demand overseas.
Scrumhalf Fourie du Preez is also set to join Suntory Sungoliath in Japan after the World Cup.
It has been predicted for a long time that hunting season will be open on South African players after the 2011 World Cup and that several Springboks may earn their bread and butter overseas.
Strydom may move after this year’s Super Rugby competition if Free State decide to release him and accept a transfer fee.
The interest in Strydom is a compliment to him and the Free State as he is a very valuable player because of his kicking boot.
He kicked the Cheetahs into the semifinal of the Currie Cup last year and it is for that reason that it will be a difficult for Free State to allow him to leave.
Strydom confirmed to Sport24 that there has been interest from several European clubs and that he would have to consider all options because of his age.
Prior to joining Free State in 2009, he played for French club Bayonne and that is why overseas teams know what he’s capable of.
If Strydom goes overseas this year, Free State will probably have to make a plan to add to their flyhalf depth for the Currie Cup.
The only other flyhalves in the Cheetahs’ squad for Super Rugby are Naas Olivier of Griquas and Free State’s Sias Ebersohn and Riaan Smit.
It would not be advisable for Free State rookies such as Franna du Toit and Johan Goosen to be thrown into the deep end just yet.