Exciting talent among Cheetahs’ new recruits for 2015, says Pretorius

2014-11-27 00:00

BLOEMFONTEIN — Experienced scrumhalf Sarel Pretorius says there is plenty of exciting talent in the new-look Cheetahs squad ahead of the 2015 Super Rugby season.

The Cheetahs have lost several players after the 2014 season, including captain and hooker Adriaan Strauss, prop Trevor Nyakane, flank Lappies Labuschagne (all Bulls), flyhalf Johan Goosen (Racing Metro, France), scrumhalf Kevin Luiters (EP Kings), centre Howard Mnisi (Lions) and Philip van der Walt (Biarritz, France).

The Cheetahs have bolstered their squad with new recruits, including fullback Joe Pietersen, wing Sergeal Petersen, prop BG Uys, flank Devin Oosthuizen and utility back Coenie van Wyk, while a number of age-group players have graduated to the senior squad.

Griquas and the Griffons have also contributed a number of players to the Super Rugby training squad.

Pretorius believes this will ensure that the Cheetahs are competitive during the 2015 Super Rugby campaign.

“It’s not easy to lose players, especially when you have an established squad. But we have a good thing going here at the Cheetahs as the new squad is looking very good,” Pretorius told MyPlayers.co.za.

“Guys like Joe Pietersen will add vital experience, while the youngsters have really impressed, especially during the Currie Cup. There’s a lot to look forward to.”

The Cheetahs are currently busy with their off-season conditioning programme that will put the players in good shape.

“We’re focused on conditioning and strengthening right now,” said Pretorius.

“We then go on a break on December 12 for a few weeks, before returning to action.”

Pretorius added that he enjoyed the 2014 season, which included a number of individual highlights.

“Playing my 100th Currie Cup game and winning it was a great honour. That will be a memory that will stick with me always,” said Pretorius.

“Playing for the Barbarians was also a career highlight. Running out at Twickenham for the first time in my life was amazing.

“I got play alongside some great international players, ­including Colin Slade, who’s back in the All Blacks squad again. I’m happy for him.

“I also got to spend time with a number of South African ­players, like Marnitz Boshoff and Juan de Jongh.

“We went sightseeing and ­visited a number of interesting places. I had a great time with the Barbarians.”

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