Cheetahs suffer injury blow ahead of historic Euro trip
INJURY UPDATE: The Cheetahs suffered a huge setback on the eve of their departure for France and the historic Round of 16 match against French giants Toulon.
The Cheetahs will depart on Tuesday without veteran Springbok Frans Steyn.
The two-time World Cup winners took a heavy knock to the knee in the Currie Cup Round Three win over the Bull at the weekend and aggravated the injury while kicking.
Cheetahs coach Hawies Fourie said they had hoped for the best, but Steyn was not in the squad named on Monday.
The squad, to be captained by lock Victor Sekekete, will rely heavily on another Bok veteran – utility back Ruan Pienaar.
Toulon, who have won the European Cup three times and reached the Challenge Cup Final on three occasions, will host the Cheetahs at Stade Félix Mayol on Saturday, April 1.
The French outfit boasts star names like flank Charles Ollivon and flyhalf Dan Biggar.
However, their World Cup-winning Springbok wing Cheslin Kolbe is sidelined with an ankle injury he sustained in a Top 14 match at the weekend.
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Fourie was a frustrated man at the weekend, despite his team’s third successive Currie Cup win, beating the Bulls 32-7 in their last ‘training run’ ahead of the trip to Toulon.
“It was just not good enough,” coach Hawies Fourie said of a first half that saw his team hold a narrow 15-7 lead at the break.
“We spoke loud and honest with each other in the dressing room.
“The second half was an improvement, but we still wasted too many opportunities.”
Cheetahs squad: Rynier Bernardo, Schalk Ferreira, Munier Hartzenberg, Marko Janse van Rensburg, Cohen Jasper, Daniel Kasende, Rewan Kruger, Daniel Maartens, Tapiwa Mafura, Jeandrè Rudolph, Victor Sekekete, Alulutho Tshakweni, Marnus van der Merwe, Gideon van der Merwe, Hencus van Wyk, Mzwanele Zito, Louis van der Westhuizen, Robert Ebersohn, Reinhardt Fortuin, Ruan Pienaar, David Brits, Teboho Mohoje, Nqobisizwe Mxoli, Sibabalo Qoma, Conraad van Vuuren.