The Free State Cheetahs could soon see their backline become their main weapon of attack, with many promising youngsters stepping to the fore.
Rugby 365 reports that traditionally, the Cheetahs have had a dominant and feared forward pack. Since 2005, the Cheetahs have been relying on world-class forwards such as Os du Randt (retired), Naka Drotské (retired, now coach), Adriaan Strauss, Richardt Strauss, CJ van der Linde, Jannie du Plessis (now at Sharks), Ollie le Roux (moved to Irish side Leinster), Kobus Calldo, Barend Pieterse, David de Villiers, Corniel van Zyl (now in Italy), Rory Duncan (now in Japan), Juan Smith, Hendro Scholtz, Kabamba Floors, Duanne Vermeulen and Heinrich Brussow.
But many of those big names are not available for the Cheetahs anymore, and it seems that the focus is now shifting towards building an exciting Cheetahs backline, according to OFM Sport.
Youngsters such as Wilton Pietersen, Robert Ebersohn, Sias Ebersohn, Lionel Mapoe, Phillip Snyman and Bernd Theissinger are promising up-and-coming players that could become the next generation of Cheetah stalwarts.
Other possible future Cheetah regulars include Francois Venter, Piet Lindeque and Spoed Smith. These players could well put their hands up for a place in the Free State line-up in a year or two.
The biggest challenge for the rugby union will be to hang onto their promising young players, as they will undoubtedly be tempted away from the Free State by wealthier unions and clubs.
Meanwhile, Free State Cheetahs coach Naka Drotské is searching for the next Philip Burger now that he has found a replacement for ‘general’ Willem de Waal.
Drotské is urgently on the look-out for a natural game-breaker that can score tries, just like Burger used to do in his heyday for the Free State.
The Cheetahs did all the basics right in their narrow 20-16 win over the Griquas on Friday, but it was clear that they needed a special player with creative spark that could conjure up tries out of nothing.
For this reason, Drotské could well look in the direction of Sevens Springboks such as Fabian Juries, Robert Ebersohn en Wilton Pietersen to add more strike power to his backline.
Drotské is already in the position to select Juries, who is one of the most feared try-scorers in international Sevens rugby history.Tweet