Cheetahs draw Scarlets and Section Paloise

Cohen Jasper will be one of the Cheetahs stars that will be in action during the European Challenge Cup. PHOTO: MORGAN PIEK

The Toyota Cheetahs have been drawn in Pool B for the European Challenge Cup that will get underway in December.

The Cheetahs will make a welcome return to international rugby after being unceremoniously dumped out of the then PRO14 in order to make way for the Bulls, Lions, Sharks and Stormers in what would become an expanded United Rugby Championship.
This had a massive impact on the morale of the team and it also led to numerous players opting to leave the Cheetahs in order to joins team that also play in international competitions.

Recently the news was confirmed that the Cheetahs had been invited to play in the Challenge Cup, and while the competition is a quick one, it is a fresh start for the team and should they win it, they can qualify to play in the Champions Cup (also known as the Heineken Cup).

The Cheetahs and the Lions are in the same pool for the Challenge Cup, but will not get to face each other in the initial stages of the competition.

The Cheetahs have been drawn to face the Welsh outfit, Scarlets, who they know well from the PRO14, while they will also be up against the French Top 14 team, Section Paloise, who play out of Pau. The former Cheetahs prop, Maks van Dyk, is currently on the books of Pau.
The Lions, in turn, will be up against Stade Francais and the Worcester Warriors. The former Cheetahs captain and Springbok centre, Francois Venter, is still at the Warriors.
As it stands the Cheetahs are set to be based in Parma, Italy, and they will also play their home matches there.

The first round of matches will be played from 9 to 11 December.

EPCR Challenge Cup draw:
Pool A – Glasgow Warriors, RC Toulon, Bristol Bears, Connacht Rugby, Cardiff Rugby, CA Brive, Newcastle Falcons, Zebre Parma, Perpignan, Bath Rugby
Pool B – Scarlets, Section Paloise, Wasps, Lions, Benetton Rugby, Stade Francais, Worcester Warriors, Dragons RFC Bayonne, Cheetahs. – MORGAN PIEK