The Pumas loose-forward, Jeandré Rudolph, has hinted that he may be playing for two teams during the Currie Cup this season, which is expected to start in October.
In normal circumstances, rugby players are contracted at the respective unions or franchises in South Africa until the end of October, however, with the global Covid-19 pandemic, there is an exception, which will also allow players to move in-between teams in mid-competition.
Rudolph, who is a Varsity Cup-winning former North West University Pukke captain, was contracted at the Toyota Free State Cheetahs as a replacement for both Jasper Wiese and Gerhard Olivier a few months ago. Wiese will be heading to England in order to play for the Leicester Tigers, while Olivier has been forced to hang up his boots due to a serious neck injury he sustained against the Cardiff Blues in the Guinness PRO14.
The player is still very much part of the Pumas set up in Nelspruit for now, however, he will be in a Free State jersey shortly.
Draft Currie Cup fixtures have indicated that the defending champions, the Cheetahs, will host the Pumas in Bloemfontein in the opening match of the competition.
Rudolph told Bloemfontein Courant that he will be using the trip to the City of Roses to touch base with his new team, and he may in fact be playing for them as soon as the second round.
“The first Currie Cup game is in Bloemfontein against the Cheetahs, and I am really looking forward to playing for the Pumas in that match.
“I am also going to touch base with coach Hawies Fourie and the rest of the technical staff, just to hear what their plans are for me. It will be to find out more about their plans and strategies because there won’t be much of a turnaround time.
“I think I am still going to be playing for the Pumas on the one Saturday, and that following Monday, I should be starting at the Cheetahs.”
At the time of print, the fixtures for the Currie Cup had not been confirmed by SA Rugby yet, but all indications are that the world’s oldest and toughest domestic competition will kick off on October 10th. – MORGAN PIEK