The Cheetahs are spending this week training in Jeffreys Bay ahead of next year’s Super 15 and fans will be pleased to see Springbok flank Heinrich Brussow almost fighting fit following a long-term injury, while wing Jongi Nokwe’s prognosis is less positive.
Brussow emerged as a star in 2009 during the British and Irish Lions tour, where his thievery at the breakdown was hailed as a crucial factor in the Springboks series victory.
The 24-year-old suffered a knee injury mid-way through the Super 14 that derailed his season and left the Cheetahs without their premier openside flank.
However, Brussow’s long road to recovery may finally be almost over, which may come as a relief to Bok coach peter de Villiers with the World Cup just around the corner.
“Heinrich has started training again with the guys and should be doing more of the physical work in February,” Cheetahs team manager Eugene van Wyk told rugby365.com.
“Hopefully we will be looking at him from the beginning of the [Super 15] tournament.”
The news is less positive for Springbok flyer Nokwe who is out with cruciate ligament damage that may have a devastating impact on his career.
“It looks like Jongi will be out for a long time because his cruciate ligament injury is serious and he probably won’t play this season,” Van Wyk confirmed.
Nokwe’s injury and the departures of wings Bjorn Basson to the Bulls and Lionel Mapoe to the Lions has left the Cheetahs resources looking rather thin out wide.
The wing shortage has forced the Cheetahs to search for replacements in the pre-season squad in the form of Sevens star Ryno Benjamin and a homecoming for former Cheetah Philip Burger after his stint with Perpignan in the French Top 14.
Having made steady progress in recent Super Rugby campaigns the Bloemfontein outfit will now look to step up their efforts as they have the personnel to fight for a place in the semifinals.
“The Cheetahs tend to play well against the other South African teams and now we must start being more consistent against the Australian and New Zealand sides,” Van Wyk added.
Article courtesy of rugby365.co.zaTweet