Exciting times, this is the feeling in the Toyota Cheetahs camp as the side has got their preseason for the 2017 Super Rugby well and truly underway.
On Friday the team, along with their new apparel sponsor, Canterbury, launched their new playing kit for the upcoming Super Rugby campaign.
The biggest change for the team is, that as from next year, the side will be clad in orange for their home fixtures, while the traditional white jersey will be exclusively for away matches.
This change is just for the intercontinental tournament, but they will be reverting back to the white jumper when they defend the Currie Cup.
When it comes to the new design the old adage “Less is more” truly comes into play and it was opted to rather stick win a simplistic design instead of something extreme.
The Lions share the same apparel sponsor and last season they had the skyline of Johannesburg on their jerseys. This same idea was also used in one of the proposal designs, with what is believed to be Naval Hill as the silhouette image.
The only feature on the jersey sees a line running down the front right and left which represents the tear-lines of a Cheetah, which is the animal’s most distinctive facial feature.
One of the players that was in attendance at the launch of the jersey and the new Canterbury concept store at Loch Logan Waterfront, was the star winger, Sergeal Petersen.
Despite having played a lot of rugby and having just returned from Europe where he did international duty with the Springboks, Petersen told Voice that he is ready for the new season.
“We’re feeling good about the new season, we’re taking a lot of positives out of the Currie Cup.
“From what I’ve heard from the guys the preparations for the Super Rugby is going well so far.”
It’s no secret that the Springboks have had a dreadful end-of-year tour, losing all three of their Tests and drawing to the Barbarians, but Petersen remains upbeat about the future of Bok rugby.
“It was a young bunch of guys and it was a very inexperienced squad with limited experience in the team, so going forward I think things will change.”
Petersen’s Cheetahs teammate, Uzair Cassiem, made his debut for the Springboks during the loss against Wales and he scored the visitors sole try in the Test. Petersen said he was delighted for his roommate when he crashed over in the 69th minute.
“I was really stoked for him, he was my roommate throughout the tour. I was just really happy for the way he played in his first game for the Boks and hopefully it’s the first of many.”
The Toyota Cheetahs will open their 2017 Super Rugby campaign on 25 February when they tackle the Lions at the Toyota Stadium in Bloemfontein. – MORGAN PIEK