Johannesburg - The Cheetahs were hit by another massive blow when they lost their ninth player of the season, with midfielder Johann Sadie heading to Japan to join the NTT Docomo Red Hurricanes at the end of the current Super Rugby season.
According to the supersport.com website, Sadie will make the move to the Japanese club, which also has South Africans Heinrich Brüssow and Riaan Viljoen on their books, after again missing on the Springbok training squad.
The Cheetahs midfielder has had a good season despite his team’s poor form in this year’s competition and will definitely be able to use his attacking skills in the pacy Japanese league.
But while he will make the move, which is in his financial interest, his departure leaves another big hole in the Cheetahs arsenal, after several other players have also taken up big money offers abroad.
Phillip van der Walt was the latest last month when he decided to join French club Biarritz, while kingpin Johan Goosen also signed a big money deal to play for Racing Metro after Super Rugby, which could bring him as much as R7m more than he was earning at the Cheetahs during the length of his contract.
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).
Sadie’s agent Hilton Houghton hasn’t confirmed the move yet, but it is expected to be officially announced in the next day or so.
The Cheetahs have signed Willie du Plessis, former Bulls and Lions flyhalf for the coming season in order to bolster their flyhalf reserves after Western Force flyhalf Sias Ebersohn turned them down on a return to Bloemfontein.
It is believed that Sadie will be allowed to return to play for the Cheetahs in next year's Super Rugby competition, as is the case with several Japan-based South African players.