The eagerly anticipated pre-season friendly rugby match between the Cheetahs and Sharks now appears to be off.
Pieter Jordaan reports for Volksblad that Cheetahs team manager Eugene van Wyk said on Wednesday it was more likely that they would now warm up for the Super14 against a Griquas XV in Bloemfontein. The friendly against the Sharks was set to be played in Abu Dhabi, but cancelled after the main sponsor withdrew.
The game next Friday against the team from Griquas is set to be played at Shimla Park and will probably kick off at 17:00.
It was thought that the game against the Sharks would be re-scheduled in South Africa, but the cost factor also put paid to that idea.
The cost of the game in Dubai would have been covered completely by the sponsor before they withdrew due to financial reasons.
Cheetahs coach Naka Drotské was not unhappy as he would prefer a match with slightly less intensity before a tough game against the Bulls in Polokwane.
He said he would use the same group of 24 against Griquas that would have travelled to Dubai.
That includes a tough pack with Heinrich Brüssow, Juan Smith and Frans Viljoen as the loose-trio. At the back Drotské wants to use Meyer Bosman as flyhalf, and a centre pairing of Jacques-Louis Potgieter and Corné Uys.
“The game will also give us an opportunity to see guys like Conrad Barnard (flyhalf), Ruaan du Preez (prop) and Ryno Barnes (hooker) in action,” said Drotské.
Sharks manager Trevor Barnes said they had not yet arranged a friendly match to replace the one against the Cheetahs.
The Sharks are considered serious contenders for the Super14 title and would like to prepare as well as possible before kicking off their Super14 campaign against the Stormers on 14 February.Tweet