The Prince named the Cheetahs Player of the Year for second time

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The Springbok centre was named as the Toyota Cheetahs Player of the Year for second year running. PHOTO: NICOLETTE TALJAARD

The Springbok centre, Francois Venter, has been named as the Toyota Cheetahs Player of the Year for a second year running.

The team held their annual awards function at Ramblers in Bloemfontein where the players were awarded for their on-field contributions.

Venter was the big winner last night and he also walked away with the new award, the Harold Verster Backline Player of the Year Award.

The Springbok flanker, Uzair Cassiem, was the other big winner after being named as the Players’ Player of the Year and he also received the Prof. Basie Verster Forward of the Year Award.

Venter told OFM Sport that he was humbled and that the award belongs to the team.

“I’m actually humbled. It’s always nice to get an award but I feel there are a lot of guys in the team that deserved to get it as well.

“As a unit we did so well. I cannot take any credit, it was them that made me look good.

“It was never just me, it was always the team and they made it easy for me”.

The prop, Ox Nche, was named as the Currie Cup Player of the Year, while the winger, Raymond Rhule, was named at the Super Rugby Player of the Year.

The hooker, Joseph Dweba, was named as the Free State XV Player of the Year.

Players like the winger, Sergeal Petersen, and the flank, Tier Schoeman, also impressed throughout the season and were somewhat unlucky not to have been among the winners.

Venter added that for him it is difficult to single out just a few players as everybody played their part in their Currie Cup success.

“If one looks at the team you cannot leave out anybody.

“I’m immensely honoured to be part of a team like this, everybody out up their hand to reach the end goal.

“It is already 2017 and it’s time to hit the reset button. On a night like tonight it’s nice to celebrate a few awards.

“Unfortunately we cannot give the whole team an award, but I’m stoked for the guys that got awards as well.

“Hopefully were can carry this forward and just become a better team and focus on the team first”.

Winners:

U19 Toyota Free State Cheetahs Player of the Year – Kwenzo Blose

U21Toyota Free State Cheetahs Player of the Year – Jasper Wiese

Toyota Free State XV Player of the Year – Joseph Dweba

Prof. Basie Verster Award for Forward of the Year – Uzair Cassiem

Harold Verster Award for the Backline Player of the Year – Francois Venter

Toyota Free State Cheetahs Currie Cup Player of the Year – Ox Nche

Toyota Cheetahs Super Rugby Player of the Year – Raymond Rhule

Toyota Cheetahs Players Player of the Year – Uzair Cassiem

Toyota Cheetahs Player of the Year – Francois Venter.

Capping:

Four Free State Cheetahs players were capped.  To qualify for Free State Cheetah colours, a player has to play in six consecutive Currie Cup matches or in 10 Currie Cup matches in total for the team.  At a previous occasion a couple of players were already capped in 2016.  The four players who were officially capped on Thursday night Justin Basson, Tom Botha, Aranos Coetzee and William Small-Smith.