Carel Greeff is the latest Varsity Cup product looking to leave his mark in Super Rugby.
Greeff, who played loose forward for Wits University last year, is the big bolter in a 36-man Cheetahs squad that will head to Jeffreys Bay on Monday for a week-long training camp.
The squad was named after the Cheetahs played against Shimlas and Griquas in back-to-back pre-season outings in Bloemfontein on Friday.
The Cheetahs beat Shimlas 66-19 and in the later game, also at Shimla Park in Bloemfontein, Griquas accounted for the Cheetahs' second string 21-19.
On the Tuesday, January 21, a Cheetahs team will play against the NMMU Varsity Cup team, and the other team will play the Eastern Province Kings on the Saturday, January 25.
On February 1 they play against the Pumas in an historic game in Parys, before they open their campaign against the newly promoted Lions in Bloemfontein on Saturday, February 15.
The inclusion of Greeff is the big surprise. Even though he trained with the Cheetahs, he was not named in the either of the two teams that played on Friday.
In fact he did not even make the Griquas starting XV, and came off the bench.
However, his cameo was enough to convince coach Naka Drotské that he should be given a run with the squad in Jeffreys Bay.
Greeff, who joined Griquas from Wits ahead of last year's Currie Cup season, represented the Leopards at the 2006 Under-16 Grant Khomo Week, the 2007 Under-18 Academy Week and 2008 Under-18 Craven Week competitions. His performances in the latter also resulted in his inclusion in an Under-18 South African Elite squad in 2008.
He then headed to the Sharks and was included in their Under-19 squad for the 2009 age-group provincial championship.
In 2011 he made his first class debut for the Golden Lions in a pre-season friendly, starting the match against the Falcons. However, he never made another appearance for the Lions senior team - instead representing the Golden Lions Under-21 team in the age-group competition, making 12 appearances.
He was a stand-out player in a struggling Wits team in the 2013 Varsity Cup competition, scoring five tries in seven appearances - making him the joint second top try scorer in the competition.
His performances for Wits earned him a call-up to Griquas. He made his debut for them in the opening match of the season, coming on as a half-time in their match against the Sharks in Durban. He scored a try in injury time to tie the score 30–30 and a Nico Scheepers conversion gave Griquas a dramatic victory.
Now he gets a chance to take his game up another level, as the Cheetahs continue their pre-season preparations.
Other noteworthy selections in the Cheetahs squad that will head to Jeffreys Bay include Griffons scrumhalf Inus Kritzinger, Sevens Springbok Cornal Hendricks, scrumhalf Kevin Luiters and forgotten Bok utility forward Hilton Lobberts, who starred for Griquas last year before injury ended his season prematurely.
Another Griquas player who could become one of the season's finds is former SA Under-20 prop Nicolaas van Dyk.
The squad is minus Bok flank Heinrich Brussow, who will miss the first six weeks of the season with a foot injury.
However, it still features a number of Springboks - including Trevor Nyakane, Coenie Oosthuizen, Rossouw de Klerk, Adriaan Strauss, Hilton Lobberts, Johan Goosen, Raymond Rhule and Willie le Roux.
Cheetahs squad: Trevor Nyakane, Caylib Oosthuizen, Coenie Oosthuizen, Rossouw de Klerk, Max van Dyk, Adriaan Strauss, Ryno Barnes, Hercu Liebenberg, Torsten van Jaarsveld, Lodewyk de Jager, Andries Ferreira, Hilton Lobberts, Francois Uys, Rynhardt Landman, Johannes Prinsloo, Carel Greeff, Pieter Labuschagné, Teboho Mohoje, Philip van der Walt, Jean Cook, Sarel Pretorius, Shaun Venter, Kevin Luiters, Inus Kritzinger, Elgar Watts, Johan Goosen, Riaan Smit, Francois Venter, Howard Mnisi, Johann Sadie, Piet Lindeque, Raymond Rhule, Cornal Hendricks, Rayno Benjamin, Willie le Roux, Hennie Daniller.