Vodacom Super 14

Viljoen ready for Cheetahs role

2010-02-09 22:36
Riaan Viljoen (Gallo images)
Jóhann Thormählen

Bloemfontein – Riaan Viljoen wants to be a factor in the Super 14 and with two of the country’s foremost wingers is looking forward to taking on the Bulls on Friday.

The Cheetahs fullback is making his Super 14 debut and will join wingers Jongi Nokwe and Lionel Mapoe in the back three.

Viljoen, 26, waited about four years to be able to play Super rugby after nearly making the Cheetahs’ line-up in 2006.

He was in the Cheetahs’ enlarged squad, but not picked in the final one by former coach Rassie Erasmus.

“It has been a long wait. It’s nice to finally be able to play Super 14 rugby and I’m really looking forward to it,” said Viljoen.

The man who made the Springbok midweek side last year wants to use the chance to make a difference for the Cheetahs.

“I want to be a factor on the field. You don’t just want to be a link player.”

He may just provide the spark that the Cheetahs need to start their campaign on a winning note and lay their Super rugby ghost to rest in 2010.

Viljoen believes Griquas’ success last year played a role in his rise to prominence.

“Griquas are no longer a team that can be taken lightly. We beat some good teams and that meant a lot for the players’ confidence.”

The fullback, who weighs 97kg, won’t just be dangerous with his pace, but his boot can also be of immense value.

Not only does he earn great distance with his touch kicks, but he’s also renowned for his long-distance drop goals and penalties.

He does not worry about the added responsibility as he often had to kick for Griquas.

The Bulls are expected to kick a lot, but Viljoen is not concerned about the anticipated aerial bombardment.

“I feel very comfortable on the field these days,” he said.

“I am very calm about my own game and don’t concern myself with who I’m playing against.”

Cheetahs supporters will hope that he combines well with Nokwe and Mapoe.

“They are two of the best wings in the country in my view,” said Viljoen.


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