Cheetahs reveal their new captain
NEWS: Veteran Springbok Ruan Pienaar has stepped down as captain of the Cheetahs.
He has been replaced by Victor Sekekete, who has been named captain for the domestic Challenge Series and European Challenge Cup.
Pienaar, who led the team in 35 games, said he wants to focus on his own game.
“I’m nearing the end of my playing career and I want to focus on my game and enjoy it without the extra pressure of captaincy,” Pienaar said.”
Pienaar will still play a vital role in the team’s leadership group.
In a media statement, the Cheetahs said Sekekete is a natural leader and is respected by the players.
“It’s a great honour for me to captain the Cheetahs,” Sekekete said.
“I’m humbled to have the backing of the coaches and players to allow me to lead on and off the field and to be trusted with this big responsibility.
“I’m looking forward to the journey.”
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Sekekete joined the Cheetahs in November 2020 and, since then, played in 33 matches for the Bloemfontein side, scoring three tries.
He has been a regular starting team member for the past two seasons and recently received the Cheetahs Forward Award for the 2022 Currie Cup season.
Along with Ruan Pienaar, he is the only player to have played in all 13 Currie Cup games in 2022.
He played 27 Currie Cup matches (two tries), three preparation matches and three Challenge matches (one try) for the Cheetahs.
Victor Kutlwano Sekekete was born on 28 January 1994 in Johannesburg, where he attended Queens High School.
In 2012, he represented the Golden Lions at the Under-18 Craven Week.
He started all three of their matches at lock, as his team qualified to play in the unofficial final match of the tournament, where they lost to Gauteng rivals, the Blue Bulls.
After school, Sekekete joined the Golden Lions academy.
He featured in all 14 of the Golden Lions Under-19 team’s matches in the 2013 U19 provincial championship, starting 13 of those and playing off the bench in the other, scoring three tries during the season.
They lost 23–35 against the Blue Bulls in the Final.
Sekekete started the 2014 season by playing in the Varsity Cup competition for UJ, being utilised as a flank for the first time. He featured in all seven of their matches.
He represented the SA U20 team that competed at the 2014 IRB Junior World Championship in New Zealand.
The BabyBoks lost 20–21 in the Final against England.
Sekekete returned to domestic action by making 12 appearances for the Golden Lions U21 team in the 2014 Under-21 provincial championship.
Sekekete made his first-class domestic debut on 13 March 2015, appearing as a replacement in the Golden Lions XV’s 31–21 victory over the Limpopo Blue Bulls.
Victor’s second taste of first-class action came in the 2016 Currie Cup qualification series for the Golden Lions XV.
He had two starts and came on as a reserve in six matches, scoring a brace of tries in their final game in the competition, a 24–28 loss to the Boland Cavaliers in Grabouw.
Sekekete was then contracted by the Southern Kings for the 2017-18 seasons, playing in four matches, before moving to Kimberley and playing 16 games for the Griquas.