Cheetahs excited about Challenge Cup

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David Brits PHOTO: GALLO

The Toyota Cheetahs will be back in action again in November when they will be competing in the inaugural Toyota Challenge Cup to be staged in Bloemfontein.

The tournament will have an international flavour, with the two South African United Rugby Championship franchises, the Sharks and Stormers coming to play against the Cheetahs, while Baia Mare of Romania and Diables Barcelona will also test their mettle against the Free State franchise.

Each of the matches will see the winner bagging R250 000, while there will also be incentives on offer for the players who perform the best.

The tournament, which forms part of the Cheetahs’ preparations for the 2022 Currie Cup, may not be at strong as the URC, but the Cheetahs players are excited none the less.

“Everyone is extremely excited to pull over the jersey and represent the Free State or the Cheetahs. Although it isn’t in the United Rugby Championship, it is an opportunity and we are looking forward to that”, the Cheetahs centre, David Brits, told Bloemfontein Courant.

“The whole group is in a good space at the moment.

“Everyone is working extremely hard and now we have something to work towards instead of just waiting for the Currie Cup next year”, he added. Baia Mare, who are the reigning Romanian Super League champions, will tour South Africa for the first time, and the excitement is mounting according to the lock, Nicolaas Immelman. The Grey College old boy and former University of the Free State Shimlas player, plays for the club, although he is injured at the moment.

“It will be nice for our boys to see something different and it will help us a lot in our local competitions going forward,” Immelman said.

“Coming back to Bloemfontein – I honestly can’t wait to get back and see the place again. See familiar faces and speak a little bit of Afrikaans. That will be a great holiday in my view,” he concluded.

Sat 13 Nov 2021:
Cheetahs vs. Stormers XV – 17:30
Wed 17 Nov 2021:
Cheetahs vs. Barcelona – 17:30
Sat 20 Nov 2021:
Cheetahs vs. Sharks – 14:00
Fri 26 Nov 2021:
Cheetahs vs. Baia Mare – 17:30

– MORGAN PIEK