Cheetahs recruit abroad
The Cheetahs may have lost the services of Springbok training squad member Robert Ebersohn, but they will gain two internationals from abroad.
Ebersohn will join up with French club Montpellier after the completion of the Currie Cup season, but the Top 14 outfit is already billeting him on their website as one of their high-profile recruits for the 2013/14 season.
Among the 12 new recruits unveiled recently are Springbok centre Wynand Olivier, All Black utility back Rene Range, French prop Nicolas Mas, Scottish lock Jim Hamilton and Australian lock Sitaleki Timani.
Other additions include another South African centre in the shape of the Stormers' JP Du Plessis and Blues utility back Anthony Tuitavake.
The Cheetahs moved swiftly to replace Ebersohn, with the Bloemfontein-based Volksblad newspaper reporting that Bulls midfielder Francois Venter will return to the city where he played as a schoolboy.
However, even more significant – according to the newspaper – is the arrival of Springboks Wian du Preez (from Munster in Ireland) and Tonderai Chavhanga (from Newport Gwent Dragons in Wales) to add depth to the Cheetahs' squad.
Venter will team up with Johann Sadie and another new recruit in Piet Lindeque (from the Sharks) in the revamped Cheetahs midfield next season.
Du Preez's arrival will bolster a Cheetahs front row that already features Springboks Coenie Oosthuizen, Lourens Adriaanse (only for Super Rugby, he returns to Griquas for the Currie Cup) and Trevor Nyakane. Other prop they can call on for the Currie Cup season include Rudolf Botha, Luan de Bruin, Rossouw de Klerk, Caylib Oosthuizen and Schalk van der Merwe.
Apart from Chavhanga and Lindeque, who can also play on the wing, the Cheetahs have Sevens Bok Rayno Benjamin and Bok tourist Raymond Rhule out wide.
Another new recruit is hooker Ethienne Reynecke from Connacht in Ireland.