Player exodus continues at Cheetahs

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Tian Schoeman PHOTO: MORGAN PIEK

Two more players at the Toyota Free State Cheetahs will be representing the team from Bloemfontein for the last time during the upcoming Currie Cup.

The Currie Cup started last week, however, the defending champions, the Cheetahs, had a bye week during the first round and get their title defence started on Saturday against the Blue Bulls in Pretoria.

The Cheetahs’ current first-choice flyhalf, Tian Schoeman, said to be leaving the union at the end of December in order to go and play for the Bath in England. While no contract has been signed yet, according to the player, negotiations are in place for the backline marshal to remain at the Cheetahs until the end of the Currie Cup at the end of January.

The versatile hooker, Reinach Venter, is also set for an exit, and this could be as soon as in two weeks’ time. Venter, who can also play at loosehead prop has been the Cheetahs first-choice in the number two jersey of late. He will be heading to France to play for the Top14 team, ASM Clermont Auvergne.

In the past few weeks the Cheetahs lost the services of the in-form tighthead prop, Luan de Bruin, to the Leicester Tigers in England on a short-term contract. Once De Bruin has completed his obligations to the English club in seven months’ time, he will be crossing the northern border to link up with the Scottish outfit, Edinburgh.

The towering 2,09m tall lock, JP du Preez, also left and has officially be unveiled at the English team, the Sale Sharks, which already has a heavy South African presence, which includes the like of former Cheetahs such as Lood de Jager and Coenie Oosthuizen.

Other Cheetahs that left in recent times are Jasper Wiese (Leicester Tigers), Walt Steenkamp (Bulls), Sintu Manjezi (Bulls) and Benhard Janse van Rensburg (NEC Green Rockets, Japan). – MORGAN PIEK