Rudolph Jacobs
Rugby Journalist
1 minute read
6 Feb 2014
5:55 am

Naka’s Cheetahs go for experience

Rudolph Jacobs

Experience is something Cheetahs coach Naka Drotske will rely on when they open their Super Rugby campaign against the Lions at home next weekend.

FILE PICTURE: Coach of the Cheetahs, Naka Drotske. Picture: Barry Aldworth/BackpagePix.

The Cheetahs, who will also host the Bulls before they embark on their away leg, have kept the nucleus of their squad that reached the play-offs last season, narrowly losing 15-13 to the Brumbies in Canberra.

Players available again, with their Super Rugby caps in brackets, include Hennie Daniller (83), Willie le Roux (33), Johann Sadie (34), Raymond Rhule (17), Philip van der Walt (41), Lappies Labuschagne (18), Heinrich Brüssow (70), when he returns from injury), Lood de Jager (17), captain Adriaan Strauss (89), Coenie Oosthuizen (57), Ryno Barnes (30), Trevor Nyakane (27), Ligtoring Landman (13), Sarel Pretorius (67), Elgar Watts (6), Ryno Benjamin (51), Boom Prinsloo (13) and Riaan Smit (24).

New signings include Jean Cook (Bulls), Cornal Hendricks (SA Sevens), Piet Lindeque (Sharks), Francois Venter (Bulls) and Shaun Venter (Kings).

Players who are not available again include Robert Ebersohn (Montpellier), Piet van Zyl (Bulls), Burton Francis (Agen), Lourens Adriaanse (Sharks), Frans Viljoen (Lyon) and Tewis de Bruyn (retired).

The big plus however is also the players who have since returned from injury like Johan Goosen, Francois Uys, Howard Mnisi, Francois Brummer, Caylib Oosthuizen and Waltie Vermeulen.

The last time the Cheetahs faced the Lions in Super Rugby in 2012, they lost 27-25 at Ellis Park, but in the return match in Bloemfontein the Cheetahs won 26-5.