Brenden Nel - SuperSport
Johannesburg - There are three or four new superstars just waiting to burst onto the Super Rugby scene, and that makes Cheetahs coach Naka Drotské an excited man.
Drotské told SuperSport.com that he was more confident than normal at this time of the season, thanks to the fact that he has a crop of young talent that he wants to see take on the world this year.
The quartet of young stars has Drotské so convinced they will do well, that he is keen to start them early in the season and give them enough opportunity to find their feet at this level.
Already some of them have made their mark at provincial level in Currie Cup, but the step up to Super Rugby is one that they need to take to establish themselves in top flight rugby
“We’ve got a lot of continuity at the moment and that is great,” Drotské told SuperSport.com.
“We have a few guys who did well at Currie Cup level that are just waiting to break through.
“They really were a surprise package for us in how they stepped up and I’m hoping they will be able to continue that progression into Super Rugby.”
Leading the group is former SA Schools flyhalf Johan Goosen, who may well be set for higher honours sooner rather than later after showing both poise and vision in the Currie Cup.
Drotské is also impressed with the likes of prop Marcel van der Merwe, who is the latest in the line of Cheetahs scrumming powerhouses, while scrumhalf Pieter van Zyl is the third member of the Cheetahs' young turks.
The final piece in the puzzle is former Boland flyhalf Willie le Roux, who impressed in the B-section last year.
Le Roux has created such an impression on Drotské that he could become a permanent feature in the Cheetahs line-up.
“Willie was really a pleasant surprise with the way he stepped up. He stunned me with the ease he slotted into the side and how he did,” Drotské said.
“It gives me a lot of confidence and this year I believe we have the most depth in the squad of any Cheetahs team I’ve been involved in.”
The Cheetahs continued their impressive warm-up form with a 38-7 win over the Griffons in Welkom on Tuesday night.