Oupa Mohoje’s flagging career could be handed a sensational lifeline if the whispers coming out of Loftus Versfeld Stadium are true.
City Press understands that the former Cheetahs captain has signed for the Bulls and, after being spotted at Loftus this week, is supposed to begin his stint as a Bulls player as early as Tuesday.
The move represents a massive act for Mohoje, whose playing stocks have tumbled in recent seasons.
Capped 19 times for the Springboks, the blindside flanker who sometimes moonlights as a lock forward had slid to a bit-part player at the Cheetahs after returning from a lengthy knee injury towards the end of last year, his last meaningful role for the franchise being a start against Eastern Province in the Rainbow Cup preparation games.
The move to Pretoria is probably the best news the 30-year-old could have hoped for, following a sustained run of bad luck since he injured his knee in 2018.
For starters, it took about two years for him to return to contention to play, then he contracted Covid-19 when invited to the Green and Gold squads’ game.
Mohoje, who was once touted as a future Springbok captain – if not the country’s first black one – admitted that he’d needed to see a psychologist to help him deal with the effects of lockdown and not being able to play, considering his Cheetahs contract was on the verge of running out.
Given that they didn’t respond to a request to discuss the move, where the Bulls would like to play him is unclear. As things stand, they’ve got Elrigh Louw and Arno Botha as their premier blindside flankers; the versatile Marcell Coetzee has just joined; and Tim Agaba deputised there in their last game against the Sharks.
The Cheetahs had begun toying with the idea of turning the 1.93m, 107kg Mohoje into a full-time lock, because he has always been a good line-out option, even though his ability to scrum in that position was still a work in progress.