Sias Ebersohn is poised for a run in the Cheetahs’ Super14 team to show that he is up to the challenge of Super14 rugby.
With injuries to Naas Olivier and Louis Strydom, Ebersohn is a strong contender to be the team’s flyhalf for its warm-up game against Eastern Province in Port Elizabeth in two weeks’ time.
Jóhann Thormählen reports on News 24 that Olivier hurt his knee during a training session last week, while Strydom underwent a knee operation after the Currie Cup and will not be considered for the game.
That will give 20-year-old Ebersohn a chance to impress with a good performance before the start of the series and stay part of the Cheetahs’ Super14 plans a good deal longer than was initially planned.
He is part of an enlarged Super14 squad, but will probably run out for the Free State in the Vodacom Cup again once it is reduced in size.
Ebersohn has shone at every age group level in which he has played, but has not been able to stamp down his authority at senior level like twin brother Robert.
Cheetahs coach Naka Drotské may use Ebersohn if he is unable to call on Riaan Viljoen (fullback).
Drotské had said earlier that he intended using Viljoen as a fullback, but that his experience may get him in the team before Ebersohn.
The coach said that Strydom will be available for the second warm-up – on 30 January against a Namibian Invitational side in Windhoek.
Drotské believes that Ebersohn is more than up to the warm-up game and will not be thrown in at the deep end even if he gets a chance against EP.
“It’s only a warm-up and it’s against EP. He has played Vodacom Cup rugby and at under-21 level for Free State, so he will be able to do it,” he said.
The coach said that Tewis de Bruyn (scrumhalf) may play flyhalf for a few minutes in the game.
The Cheetahs’ Super14 squad will only be reduced after the second warm-up due to injuries.
“We have about 10 players that cannot train with us. There are too many injuries. We need at least two teams – about 30 players – to be able to train properly,” said Drotské.Tweet