Cheetahs get special 'Bok trial' in Bloem
NEWS: The Cheetahs will face an ‘Invitational’ team – consisting of talent from South Africa’s Rainbow Cup franchises – at the Free State Stadium on Saturday.
The Invitational side will be made up of players from the Bulls, Sharks, Stormers and the Lions.
The Cheetahs will also be able to call on both their players currently in the Springbok alignment camp – double World Cup winner Frans Steyn and Sevens star Rosko Specman.
Apart from the two Bok squad members, the game will be a ‘trial’ for other players to show the national selectors and franchise coaches that they are worthy of a closer look.
The Invitation XV players will gather in Bloemfontein from Wednesday and will work under the guidance of two very experienced coaches – Ricardo Laubscher, a former Springbok assistant coach, and Springbok scrum coach Daan Human.
The game will give quality players on the fringes of their respective Rainbow Cup SA franchise teams some game time, while the Cheetahs get to prepare against top opposition for the upcoming Currie Cup competition.
“We also believe it is of national interest that the Cheetahs players and the Invitational side get this opportunity to show their skills to the national selectors before the upcoming British and Irish Lions tour of South Africa,” said Harold Verster, Managing Director of the Cheetahs.
The two teams will be announced on Thursday by the respective coaching teams.
The match will kick-off at 16.00 local time (14.00 GMT) on Saturday.
Honouring the massive work done by schools and school coaches in South Africa, players from both teams will have the unique opportunity to wear the socks of the school that helped them create their respective rugby paths.
“With this gesture, we would like to thank all the schools and school coaches that tirelessly produce top quality rugby players for the South African rugby landscape on an annual basis,” Verster added.