The Toyota Cheetahs have contracted four more players ahead of the 2019/20 Guinness PRO14 which starts in September.
The Sharks utility back, Rhyno Smith, who previously played for the Cheetahs in the PRO14 will join the side on a three-year deal.
Furthermore, the flanker, Chris Massyn, who led the Maties to the 2019 Varsity Cup title, will join on a two-year contract. The 2019 Varsity Cup player of the tournament, the centre, Chris Smit, also joins on a two-year deal. The hooker, Wilmar Arnoldi, who plays with Smit for the Griquas, will also head to the Cheetahs.
With the departure of players of a few key players, the reinforcements will a very welcome addition to the Cheetahs.
The Sharks’ outside back, Rhyno Smith, will be heading back to Bloemfontein after previously playing for the team in the PRO14 during the 2018/19 season. Smith, who was a star player for the North West University Pukke in the Varsity Cup and for the Leopards in the Currie Cup first division, played for the Toyota Cheetahs on a loan deal. Smith has signed a three-year contract with the Cheetahs.
Chris Massyn joins the Toyota Cheetahs on a two-year contract from Western Province. Massyn, who normally plays flank, led the University of Stellenbosch Maties to the 2019 Varsity Cup title. He has the rare distinction of captaining two Varsity Cup teams to the title after previously also leading the University of Pretoria Tuks. In 2017, Tuks won the Varsity Cup under his leadership. He has also played for both the Blue Bulls and the Boland Cavaliers. The 25-year-old Massyn is known for being destructive with the ball in hand and difficult to deal with at the breakdown.
Chris Smit, who joined the Griquas earlier in the year after winning the 2019 Varsity Cup with the University of Stellenbosch Maties, will be joining the Toyota Cheetahs on a two-year contract. The centre, who can also play at flyhalf, is cool-headed on the field and has a good distribution game which has caught the attention of many coaches in South Africa. The player who will be turning 24-years-old in August was named as the 2019 Varsity Cup Player of the Tournament.
The hooker, Wilmar Arnoldi, will be joining the Toyota Cheetahs on a two-year deal from the Griquas. Arnoldi was a star-performer for the North West University Pukke for three years before joining the Griquas in 2017. During that time he also represented the Leopards in the Currie Cup First Division. In 2017 Arnoldi was named in the Varsity Cup Dream Team.
All four of these players are currently playing for their respective provinces in the Currie Cup and will link up with the Toyota Cheetahs at the conclusion of the competition.
Last week the Cheetahs confirmed the signing of the 88 Test Springbok veteran scrumhalf, Ruan Pienaar. The player who represented Ulster on 141 occasions in all competitions, and spent some time at Montpellier, is expected to represent the Free State Cheetahs in the Currie Cup. He has however not reported for duty at the team as yet. – MORGAN PIEK