Depth leaves Smith smiling

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MORGAN PIEK

The Toyota Cheetahs have been back in the preseason for just under a week and all things are going well in the camp.

Springbok flank, Oupa Mohoje, is the one major injury concern at the moment, however, he told Courant that his rehab is going well and that he can’t wait to get back onto the park.

Coach Franco Smith, for the first time in the teams’ history, has the luxury of a reasonable amount of depth and this is something that is making him smile.

Smith told Courant that he will be cutting the 50-man squad soon, but is delighted to have selection headaches.

“When we contracted the players I already realised that this will become a headache, but it’s what is necessary to develop as many players as possible and it’s also a big benefit to have depth in every position.

“Selections will be a headache but it’s a good one to have. There were other headaches previously.

“I have a good idea of what I want out of the two warm-up games, it’s not too much time on the field because the season is going to be long and hard.

“It’s just enough game time and contract situations for them to all be as best prepared as possible.

“I’ll have to make two changes to the group by trimming it down a bit just to maintain the quality.”

The Cheetahs open their Super Rugby campaign on 26 February against the Jaguars in Bloemfontein, but first face the Bulls in Harare on 6 February and the Southern Kings on the 12th in Port Elizabeth.