The summer holidays have not even started but the Cheetahs squad for next year’s Super 14 rugby competition is already taking shape.
Pieter Jordaan writes in Volksblad that the coaching staff, with Naka Drotské at the helm, have chosen 50 players for a provisional squad to start pre-season training here on Monday night.
Several new acquisitions have been included in the extended squad, which will be drastically trimmed after a fortnight.
Among the new backs are Trompie Nontshinga, Dewald Pretorius, Piet van Zyl, Corné Uys, Hanno Coetzee, Tertius Carse and Gerrie Odendaal.
Coetzee, who captained the Falcons this year, may follow Nontshinga and Pretorius, who will be available for Griquas in 2009.
Centre Van Zyl, who captained Boland this season, will be available for the Cheetahs in the Super 14. Scrumhalves Carse and Odendaal have also signed contracts with the Free State.
Among the forwards, Griquas acquisitions Davon Raubenheimer (loose forward) and Ryna Barnes (hooker) have been included in the squad. Boland lock Piet Myburgh may also turn out for the Cheetahs in the Super 14.
Prop forwards Jean Botha and WP Nel, both from Boland, are other Free State acquisitions. Griffons prop Sarel Louw is also in the squad.
Most of the first-choice Cheetahs players who were involved in the Currie Cup semifinal against the Blue Bulls have been called up. Fullback Hennie Daniller may play for Griquas next season if his negotiations with a French club are unsuccessful.
Among the players who are absent from the provisional squad are centre Hendrik Meyer, whose Free State contract has not been renewed, and scrumhalf Jandré Blom.
Players who have not been included in the squad, will provisionally train with their Vodacom Cup teams during the off-season.
Ashley Johnson has been included as hooker and Springbok loose forward Kabamba Floors is among the wings.
Some players were not considered because of injuries. Others, such as centre Robert Ebersohn, have commitments with the national sevens squad.
The provisional Cheetahs squad for the 2009 Super 14 competition:
Backs (26): Fullbacks: Bevin Fortuin, Riaan Viljoen, Hennie Daniller. Wings: Jongi Nokwe, Fabian Juries, Trompie Nontshinga, Kabamba Floors, Bjorn Basson, Eddie Fredericks, Dewald Pretorius. Centres: Meyer Bosman, Piet van Zyl, Corné Uys, Philip Snyman, JW Jonker, Alwyn Hollenbach, Egon Seconds. Flyhalves: Jacques-Louis Potgieter, Chris Rossouw, Naas Olivier, Hanno Coetzee. Scrumhalves: Sarel Pretorius, Tertius Carse, Tewis de Bruyn and Gerrie Odendaal.
Forwards (24): Loose forwards: Juan Smith, Heinrich Brüssow, Frans Viljoen, Hendro Scholtz, Schalk van der Merwe, Nico Breedt, Francois Uys, Devon Raubenheimer. Locks: David de Villiers, Wayne van Heerden, Flip van der Merwe, Piet Myburgh. Props: Wian du Preez, Coenie Oosthuizen, Albertus Buckle, Ruaan du Preez, Kobus Calldo, Jean Botha, Sarel Louw, WP Nel. Hookers: Adriaan Strauss, Richardt Strauss, Ryno Barnes and Ashley Johnson.
Injured: Wilton Pietersen and Gavin Passens.
Sevens commitments: Robert Ebersohn, Lionel Mapoe and Howard Noble.Tweet