The former Toyota Cheetahs captain, Francois Uys, is feeling fresh and ready for the 2017 Super Rugby campaign after another stint in Japan.
The lock missed out on the Free State’s Currie Cup campaign last season after playing for the Japanese 2nd division outfit, the Yokogawa Musashino Atlastars in the Land of the Rising Sun.
The 30-year-old stalwart of Cheetahs rugby told Courant that the due to the lesser intensity of the rugby in the Far East he as able to rest more.
“I was playing in the 2nd division there so there was a lot more time to rest and it was not nearly as intense as the Currie Cup would have been on my body.
“That was the best thing I’ve taken from Japan. It was a good time for my family and myself.
“Rugby wise I sort of went with the attitude of trying impart something that I’ve learnt throughout by career to the club.
“It was really good fun. The Japanese always make it worth your while in the sense of their hospitality and it’s always a joy to be around them.
Uys has featured in the Cheetahs warm-up games that were played against the Stormers in Harare and the Sharks in Umlazi and he also added that the scoreboard counted for nothing against two near full strength opponents, but the experience was valuable.
“There were a few tired bodies, but the main goal was to give each and every player in the squad as much game time as possible.
“Apart from one or two concussions not too much harm was done to the players, so that’s a positive.
“It was also a good learning curve for the younger guys in the squad. We played against two very good teams in the Stormers and the Sharks who played pretty much their full strength teams, so we’ll take that forward”.
The Cheetahs open their campaign on 25 February when they tackle the 2016 runners-up, the Lions at the Toyota Stadium in Bloemfontein. – MORGAN PIEK