Cheetahs sign former Matie Groenewald

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Ian Groenewald PHOTO: GALLO

The Toyota Cheetahs are set to announce the signing of the Varsity Cup-winning former Maties lock, Ian Groenewald, in the coming days.

The second-rower, Groenewald, joins the Cheetahs from the Griquas, although he played two games for the Bulls during the 2020 Super Rugby.

Groenewald is another product of the University of Stellenbosch Maties, where he played in two Varsity Cup finals, but never managed to win the tournament.

At the Maties, Groenewald played under Hawies Fourie, and in 2019, he joined the Griquas. After leaving the Maties he played some rugby in Italy for the club Verona and also had a short stint in France playing as a medical joker for Toulon.

He is just the next player on a growing list of former Maties to join the Cheetahs and he follows the likes of Chris Smit, Chris Massyn, Craig Barry and Duncan Saal.

Recently the Cheetahs also announced the signing of the former Maties Strength and Conditioning coach, André Smith, who will be replacing Quintin Kruger.

Groenewald told OFM Sport that he looks forward to playing with some former teammates again and also resuming the relationship with Fourie.

“I look forward to joining the Toyota Cheetahs this year, playing with some old teammates again, making new memories, and reliving some old memories.

“To work with coach Hawies (Fourie) again is going to be an awesome experience and a massive privilege.

“I am also looking forward to experiencing the PRO14, I think that it’s going to be a lot different to the Super Rugby, and I look forward to testing myself against the UK sides and players on that side, and making new friendships.”

Recently the Cheetahs announced the signing of the two-time World Cup-winning Springbok, Frans Steyn, from Montpellier in France. On Monday the Cheetahs also confirmed the signing of the two 18-year-olds, George Cronjé and Marcell Muller. The pair played for Clermont and Montpellier respectively and last year they still represented the Grey College 1st VX.

Groenewald has been contracted by the Cheetahs for a year and his contract runs from 1 November 2020 to 31 October 2021. – MORGAN PIEK