Mahlasi also signs with the Cheetahs

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The inspirational UFS Shimlas captain, Thabang Mahalsi, has also signed a contract with the Cheetahs, but will still play in the Varsity Cup in 2023 PHOTO: MORGAN PIEK

The University of the Free State Shimlas captain, Thabang Mahlasi, has received some good news despite his team being knocked out of the Varsity Cup during the semi-final against the University of Pretoria Tuks.

On Monday evening, the Shimlas, who were the best team in the competition, were stunned by a 29-21 defeat to the defending champions at Shimla Park in Bloemfontein, which saw their brilliant campaign grind to a halt.

Mahlasi, who led the team with aplomb, has signed a contract with the Toyota Cheetahs; this following in the wake of the flyhalf, George Lourens, who also took up an offer from the central franchise.

Mahlasi did however sign a dual deal agreement with the Cheetahs and Shimlas and he will still play in the Varsity Cup in 2023.

The influential lock told Bloemfontein Courant that he still wants to play in the student competition next season before moving up a level.

“I did go into a splint-deal agreement with the Cheetahs and the Shimlas,” said the inspirational captain who leads from the front. “I did basically sign a contract with the Cheetahs, but I will be playing another Varsity Cup for the Shimlas. From there onwards I will be joining the Cheetahs for the Currie Cup.

“I wanted to grow and I wanted to be a better player. I weighed up my options and I could have gone to a professional side instead of the Varsity Cup. But I personally felt that I wanted to play in the Varsity Cup again. Then I just made the decision to go with the Cheetahs and the split-deal. Next year I will still be playing in the Varsity Cup and then I will be looking to further my career in rugby.”

Mahlasi also attracted interest from other teams, such as the Griquas. – MORGAN PIEK