Bright flyhalf prospect Reinhardt Fortuin gets another chance to make the No 10 Cheetahs jersey his own in their preparation match at Cape Town Stadium on Saturday, against the same team he made his debut against last season, the Stormers.
The 25-year-old Fortuin was lured to Bloemfontein last season from Stellenbosch where he worked under Cheetahs coach Hawies Fourie who was the Maties Varsity Cup coach a few years back.
Fortuin got a big opportunity when he made his debut last year in round six of the Super Rugby Unlocked series against the Stormers, standing in for the injured Tian Schoeman.
With Schoeman having left for England, Fortuin got more chances in the Currie Cup, but now he faces stiff competition after the Cheetahs also lured former Stormers flyhalf Brandon Thomson, who spent a stint in Scotland with the Glasgow warriors.
The two pivots are very similar in build, with Fortuin weighing in at 94kg and 1.82m tall, while Thomson weighs 92kg and is slightly taller at 1.87m.
“Reinhardt played a few games in the Currie Cup and he gained some good experience,” said Fourie.
“He is clued up on what we want now and he trained well since we started again in February, while Brandon will start with us on Monday next week.
“That will put a bit of pressure on Reinhardt for that flyhalf starting position, but he is currently in the saddle in that position and has the opportunity to make that 10-jersey his own.”
Fourie, meanwhile, is relieved that their injury list is much shorter than what they got used to in the Currie Cup, with only four players currently unavailable.
“It’s great to have everyone back, and also the new guys who started with us at the end of January and will hopefully get game time,” he said.
“It is what the competition is all about for us, to rotate the entire squad and give an opportunity for everyone to play.”