Ebersohn staying at Cheetahs
Johannesburg - Cheetahs coach Naka Drotské has issued a “hands off” on his players as they start to become the targets of other clubs across the globe after the team’s early success in this year’s Super Rugby tournament.
Drotské revealed to the supersport.com website
that he had persuaded Robert Ebersohn to turn down a lucrative offer
from Montpellier in France and stay on at the Cheetahs, and would not be entertaining any offers for players still in contract.
“Robert said no to Montpellier,” said Drotské. “I think it is a good decision, not only for us, but for him as well. Personally I believe he is young enough and has a lot of time ahead of him in his career, and his best rugby is still to come.
“So I think it is a good decision to stay where he is.”
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But Drotské said even if there were agents looking at his players and lucrative offers coming from overseas, he would not release any player currently in contract.
“The overseas clubs want the players after Super Rugby and if I say yes to one player how do I say no to the next player. The Currie Cup is a very important competition to us and we need all our contracted players to be available for it.”
Other provinces can only talk to players after the July 1 transfer window opens. But with some players coming from Griquas, Drotské hasn’t got all the say on his squad, and watched as Martin Muller signed for Newport this past week.
Ebersohn’s decision was made easier by the fact that Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer included him in a 36-man training squad this past week, moving him a step closer to fulfilling his dream of playing for the Springboks.
While there was some outcry in Cheetahs circles about both Willie le Roux and Lappies Labuschagne’s exclusion from the squad, Drotské believes both these two, and prop Trevor Nyakane, are good enough for international rugby.
“I agree and disagree with the selections. Each coach has his own ideas and only 30 players can make a squad at the end of the day. But if you’re asking if I believe those players are good enough to play for the Springboks, the answer is yes.
“Heyneke has a game plan he wants to play and it’s difficult to know the decisions and why they were taken, but those young players are good enough.”
Drotské’s Cheetahs will be hoping for a sixth straight win when they travel to Loftus Versfeld this weekend to face the Bulls on Saturday (19:10 kick-off).
15 Jürgen Visser, 14 Akona Ndungane, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Lionel Mapoe, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 Pierre Spies (captain), 7 Dewald Potgieter, 6 Deon Stegmann, 5 Juandré Kruger, 4 Flip van der Merwe, 3 Frik Kirsten, 2 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 1 Morné Mellet
Substitutes: 16 Callie Visagie, 17 Werner Kruger, 18 Paul Willemse, 19 Arno Botha, 20 Rudy Paige, 21 Louis Fouché, 22 Ulrich Beyers
15 Hennie Daniller, 14 Willie le Roux, 13 Johan Sadie, 12 Robert Ebersohn, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Burton Francis, 9 Piet van Zyl, 8 Philip van der Walt, 7 Pieter Labuschagne, 6 Heinrich Brüssow, 5 Francois Uys, 4 Lodewyk De Jager, 3 Lourens Adriaanse, 2 Adriaan Strauss (captain), 1 Trevor Nyakane.
Substitutes: 16 Ryno Barnes, 17 Coenie Oosthuizen, 18 Rynhard Landman, 19 Frans Viljoen, 20 Tewis de Bruyn, 21 Francois Brummer, 22 Ryno Benjamin