It seems Naka Drotske and company are using the extra time they have sitting on the sidelines wisely.
The Cheetahs have already announced a squad of 51 players that will meet at the Free State Institute for Sports Science to undergo some conditioning tests and do some pre-season planning.
While the Cheetahs may have lost Meyer Bosman to the Sharks, they have gained Andries Strauss for next season and on current form he fills the gap left by Bosman more than adequately. Strauss has certainly given his detractors something to think about with his performances this season and while a season ago I would have said losing him was no major loss, now I feel we are losing a very valuable player. He has been of great service to the Sharks in the 2010 Currie Cup. Other up and coming centers at Drotske’s disposal are Robert Ebersohn, Morgan Newman and Corne Uys with a host of griquas in there as well.
Wings, Alshuan Bock and Fabian Juries are part of the squad as is the much disputed Cheetahshark Lionel Mapoe.
Bock and Newman are in Bloemfontein for a trial period to see how things work out.
Earl Rose, Naas Olivier, both Griquas appear to be the top flyhalves along with Louis Strydom and Cheetah youngster Sias Ebersohn.
Wilhelm Steenkamp who helped out in Durban during the S14 this year is and Francois Uys are the only locks who are really worth mentioning. It is in the front row that the Cheetahs show their usual class with WP. Nel, Coenie Oosthuizen and Steph Roberts of the griquas being part of the squad.
Meanwhile there is an article in Volksblad announcing that Justin Downey has signed for the Griquas for the 2011 season. I find this hard to believe or else Downey would be a part of this squad surely.
Cheetahs Super 15 Pre Season squad:
Free State: Coenie Oosthuizen, Marcel van der Merwe, WP Nel, Kobus Calldo (props), Adriaan Strauss, Skipper Badenhorst (hookers), Francois Uys, Izak van der Westhuizen, Waltie Vermeulen, Wilhelm Steenkamp (locks), Kabamba Floors, Johan Wessels, Juan Smith, Hendro Scholtz, Ashley Johnson, Philip van der Walt (loose forwards), Tewis de Bruyn, Piet van Zyl, Tertius Carse (scrumhalves), Louis Strydom, Sias Ebersohn (flyhalves), Andries Strauss, Corné Uys, Robert Ebersohn, Philip Snyman (centres), Ryno Benjamin, Lionel Mapoe (wings), Hennie Daniller, Riaan Smit (fullbacks).
Griquas: Steph Roberts (prop), Ryno Barnes (hooker), Martin Muller (lock), Davon Raubenheimer (loose forward), Sarel Pretorius (scrumhalf), Naas Olivier, Earl Rose (flyhalves), Barry Geel, Wilmaure Louw, Jean Stemmet (centres), Rocco Jansen, Fabian Juries (wings), Riaan Viljoen (fullback).
Griffons: Kevin Stevens (prop), Werner Griesel, Thabang Molefe (centres).
Trial period: Morgan Newman (centre), Alshaun Bock (wing).
Injured: Heinrich Brüssow, Frans Viljoen (loose forwards), Jongi Nokwe (wing).Tweet