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VIDEO: Cheetahs reveal their Super Rugby challenge

The Cheetahs will face Super Rugby opposition later this year, the first South African team to do so in three years.

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Cheetahs coach Hawies Fourie made this revelation after his team won the Currie Cup by beating the Pumas 25-17 in the Final in Bloemfontein at the weekend.

The Cheetahs will tackle the Western Force – a team that has victories over the Brumbies, Rebels and Highlanders to its credit in the just-completed Super Rugby Pacific season.

Having gone through some ‘dark times’ in the last four years – being kicked out of Super Rugby and the Pro14 – the Cheetahs administration had put in a massive effort to get some international opposition.

Having had an invite to the European Challenge Cup – where they were knocked out in the Round of 16 – the Bloemfontein-based franchise hopes their status as Currie Cup champions get them another invite.

Last week European Professional Club Rugby revealed that there are still two vacant spots for teams to be invited in the 2023-2024 season.

“I hope that we will be there again,” Fourie said, adding: “We enjoyed playing in the Challenge Cup and it meant a lot to us.

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“We picked up a lot of experience and stood our ground.”

(WATCH as Cheetahs coach Hawies Fourie reveals the Super Rugby challenge that awaits the Currie Cup champions later this year…)

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The Cheetahs will now go on a four-week break and then start with a ‘pre-season’ build-up.

Fourie revealed they will return at the end of July to start preparing for their four-match series against an Australian franchise.

“We will play the Western Force twice in Bloemfontein and twice in Perth,” he told @rugby365com.

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At the end of August and the beginning of September they will play in Bloemfontein and at the end of September and the beginning of October the return fixtures will be in Perth.

“We are looking forward to that.

“It will be great to measure ourselves against a Super Rugby team again.

“I watched the Super Rugby Final and it was high quality,” he said of the Crusaders’ 25-20 win over the Chiefs in Hamilton at the weekend.

“I don’t know when those two [Challenge Cup] invitees will be revealed, but we are hoping one of those will be the Cheetahs and that we will be competing in the Challenge Cup again in December and January.”

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* Meanwhile, Fourie realised his life-long dream – adding the Currie Cup title to his Varsity Cup win.

“The first game I watched on television was the 1976 Final,” he said Free State’s first title – when they beat Western Province 33–16 in Bloemfontein.

“Since then I have been a Free State supporter.

“To be in this position – to win the Currie Cup as coach of a team I have supported since the 1970s – is very special to me.”

@king365ed
@rugby365com

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