Cheetahs go Bok hunting
Fri, 12 Jul 2013 06:15
Normally we will try and keep players in Kimberley
The Cheetahs may have retained the services of two key Springboks for the foreseeable future, but they could lose two others.
It was revealed this week in the Free State media that utility back Willie le Roux (two years) and prop Trevor Nyakane (one year) signed on with the Cheetahs.
It came in the wake of the Cheetahs reaching the Super Rugby play-offs for the first time.
However, this website can reveal that they are likely to lose the services of at least one Bok, perhaps two.
The Cheetahs are also set to unveil a high-profile signing in the next week or two, although he is not a Springbok.
Although the player first wants to speak with his current union before making public his move to Bloemfontein, the player will bring considerable Super Rugby experience to the Cheetahs.
However, it will not come as a surprise that the Cheetahs are again struggling to retain all their stars, given the financial constraints in Bloemfontein.
This website was reliably told that the Cheetahs are set lose one Bok, who are in the process of finalising his move before going public.
The Cheetahs are working hard behind the scenes to prevent a second national team player from heading out the door. They have made the player a "good offer" and are hopeful he will stay in Bloemfontein.
Obviously the revelations in the Free State media that Le Roux and Nyakane are staying put, means there will be some stability.
It has created some speculation as to who the other Bok(s) can be that are looking at the exit.
Apart from Le Roux and Nyakane, current Boks or Bok squad members in the Cheetahs team include Robert Ebersohn, Raymond Rhule, Pieter Labuschagne, Heinrich Brüssow, Lourens Adriaanse, Adriaan Strauss and Coenie Oosthuizen.
* Meanwhile Cheetahs assistant coach Hawies Fourie explained why they have opted to take over Le Roux's contract from their Super Rugby partners Griquas.
They were already paying for him to play Super Rugby and have now also taken over the domestic portion of his contract, beating off a strong challenge from Durban for the player's services.
"It is difficult for Griquas to keep him contracted," contracted, Fourie told this website, when speaking about Le Roux's decision to stay in Bloemfontein for the next two years.
"Firstly as a result of his increased value and secondly they don't know if he will be available for them at all," the Cheetahs mentor said, adding: "He plays Super Rugby for us and then there is a good chance that he will be with the Springboks.
"For them to pay him for a whole year and he only plays a few games for them makes no sense."
The Cheetahs also wanted Le Roux on a more permanent basis and decided to make him an offer, rather than allow him to go back to Griquas after Super Rugby.
"Normally we will try and keep the Griquas players with them [in Kimberley], but in Willie's case it was either the Sharks or Cheetahs," Fourie said.
"He simply would not have been able to have stayed in Kimberley."
The Cheetahs assistant coach said it is important for them to ensure Griquas remain strong, as it helps them tremendously with their depth in Super Rugby.
"We have been more fortunate this year than in previous years in terms of injuries," Fourie said, adding: "Two years ago, against the Highlanders in Dunedin, we had 11 Griquas players in the ,matchday 22.
"That is why it is important for us to have a strong Griquas team - not just the first choice players like Willie [le Roux], Ligtoring [Rynhard Landman], Lourens Adriaanse and Ryno Barnes. But when we have injuries, their players are the next tier coming into the team and that makes a big difference.
"We just don't have the budget to keep that depth with us [in Bloemfontein]."
By Jan de Koning
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