More signings for Cheetahs

2010-08-17 22:40

Jóhann Thormählen

Bloemfontein – Free State have secured the services of Sharks centre Andries Strauss and Blue Bulls lock Wilhelm Steenkamp for next season.

The news comes in the wake of Sport24’s revelation that Sevens Springbok Ryno Benjamin will play for the Cheetahs next year.

Free State coach Naka Drotské on Tuesday confirmed that Strauss and Steenkamp would join the Cheetahs for a period of one year.

Strauss (26), a cousin of Free State hooker Adriaan Strauss, made his name as a rookie at Free State and moved to Durban in 2006.

While the centre had to compete with a number of Springboks for a place in the Sharks side and got little game time, he has been a regular in the midfield of late.

The Cheetahs have also renewed the contracts of centres Philip Snyman and Corné Uys for another year.

Strauss is returning to Bloemfontein following the decision by Meyer Bosman to sign for the Sharks.

Steenkamp will improve the Cheetahs’ depth at lock after Barend Pieterse decided to continue his career at the EP-Kings. Pieterse came out of retirement this year and will join his new team-mates in Port Elizabeth on November 1.

Steenkamp (25) made his debut for the Blue Bulls in the Vodacom Cup in 2005. He also represented South Africa in the 2006 under-21 world championship and played for the Emerging Springboks against the British and Irish Lions last year.

The lock, who weighs 110kg and is 2m tall, had to be satisfied with little game time behind locks such as Victor Matfield, Danie Rossouw, Bakkies Botha and Flip van der Merwe at the Bulls and should be a regular for the Cheetahs.

Meanwhile, Drotské is considering changes to his starting line-up for Friday’s Currie Cup match against the Leopards.

One of the changes will have to be a replacement for lock Izak van der Westhuizen, with the youngster having sustained a shoulder injury in the 26-30 defeat to the Lions in Johannesburg and set to be sidelined for a week.

While Sias Ebersohn should get a chance at flyhalf, Louis Strydom is also likely to be available.

Strydom took a knock to the head against the Lions, but backline coach Hawies Fourie believes he should be fit.

Meanwhile, the Free Staters are also sure of the services of under-21 scrumhalf Piet van Zyl for another two years. The Cheetahs lack depth at scrumhalf and Van Zyl may even make an impact for the senior side soon.


  • bulawayo-based-bok - 2010-08-17 23:55

    cheetahs getting some serious depth for the super 15...add the griquas star players and the odd Griffon and they will be looking good...

  • bokbefok - 2010-08-18 00:50

    Well done Cheetahs . Its about time we get our own back . They took Bosman and we will take Strauss , we win all the way !!!! Great to see that management is now getting out their and showing the other unions that their players can also be targetted ! Cheetahs all the way .....

  • Sharks fan - 2010-08-18 02:15

    We'll miss you straussie, sorry you didn't get more opportunities at the sharks

  • Morne - 2010-08-18 07:40

    At last,the Cheetahs are able to make a couple of signings,which is brilliant for them and the game of rugby. Gets younger talent stuck behind Boks like Victor and the boys,to come through. Well done Cheetahs.

  • Mark - 2010-08-18 08:18

    Let me be the pot calling the kettle black and call them: POACHERS. Yes I'm a sharkie. You see, the players will go where the money is best and where they can get some game time

  • me - 2010-08-18 09:03

    OK, I'm gonna try to look at this a bit different now. Is it not maybe a good thing for players to move, on occasion, to different unions, being exposed to different ways of looking at the game and providing something different for the unions and in general so be good for SA rugby? Just a thought, use it, don't use it...

  • macdaddy - 2010-08-18 11:33

    The best thing the cheethas could have done !! Would take Strauss above Bosman any day !!!!!!!

  • Koos Kaap - 2010-08-18 13:32

    Terwyl julle nou jul span aanvul, soek julle nie dalk nog 'n skrumskakel nie? Die WP het een vir julle, EE nogal. Hy kan sommer ook as stut diens doen. As julle hom nie kan bekostig nie, is ek seker alle WP ondersteuners sal bereid wees om 'n geldelike bydrae te maak.

  • BB - 2010-08-18 13:40

    Isn't it amazing, when the Sharks sign players from other unions they are called poachers. When the Cheetahs, or any other union for that matter, do the same thing they get congratulated. Weird world we live in.

  • Mike - 2010-08-18 16:05

    The Cheetas obtaining additional players is absolutely brilliant. To many good players are warming the benches in the major unions and not developing to their full potential. Take Jacques-Louis Potgieter for instance. Not a bad flyhalf at all and probably instrumental in the Blue Bulls' current more expansive approach. Next year he will be at the Sharks, a team which had no flyhalf before the emergence of Patrick Lambie in this position. I just find it nonsensical that one union should have four locks in the current Springbock squad, while another has three centres in the squad. It simply means that during the Super 14, where a player should take the next step up from Currie Cup, some of our best players are on the bench, while another team has to draw players from their coaching staff to make up a match day 22. The Sharks have such a dearth of really good centres that they had two fullbacks (Terblanche and Lambie) playing at centre in a match. I know that every union wants to have a second string almost as good as the first and that winning is not the only thing, but everything, but you constantly have promising Free State, SWD, EP, Border, Griffons and Puma youngsters disappearing into the huge vaults of the three top unions, never to be seen or heard from again. This cannot be good for player development. I for one feel that professional players should be contracted by SA Rugby and placed in unions where they will get playing time. It is up to the player to choose whether he wants to exchange the playing field for the bench and in return receive a bigger salary, but with that the dream usually dies and instead of Rugby being a vehicle to greatness, it becomes a job.

  • Mike - 2010-08-18 16:12

    The Cheetas lack depth at scrumhalf? With the most underrated scrumhalf in the country warming the bench? Tersius Carse is the best passing and distributing scrumhalf in the country. I have never seen any player drop a pass that he had made. Just watch him on a Saturday when he gets his paltry 10 minutes in the spotlight. PVR the game and play it back and for that short period, forget the game, watch Carse. Come to think of it, maybe somebody should tell this to Naka.

  • Ernie - 2010-08-19 15:50

    Strause served Sharks well. Always answered the call and never let the team down. good luck back at FS.

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