Drotsk� plugs the gaps


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Cheetahs coach Naka Drotsk’ believes that despite a number of the side’s top players leaving to play rugby abroad the Bloemfontein-based Super 14 franchise have a bright future ahead of them.

“We still have a lot of the youngsters in the side for the Super 14,” Drotsk’ told this website.

“They are all very talented and have picked up a bit of experience, so I really believe that we have a bright future ahead of us. We also still have quite a few experienced older players to help out the younger guys,” he added.

The Cheetahs have lost much of their top talent to French and Italian rugby, while Springbok prop Os du Randt announced his retirement after helping South Africa to a second World Cup victory in France.

From the Currie Cup winning team centre Marius Joubert is heading to Clermont Auvergne, while fly-half Willem de Waal is moving to Narbonne (all in France) and lock Corniel van Zyl is heading to Benneton Treviso (Italy).

Already plying their trade overseas are scrum-half Michael Claassens (Bath, England), loose forward Bian Vermaak (Almaviva Capitolina, Italy), flanker Rayno van der Merwe (Brive, France), fullback Phillip Burger (Perpignan, France) and prop Ollie le Roux (Leinster, Ireland).

The Cheetahs will also lose prop Jannie du Plessis, who is joining the Sharks.

Drotsk’ said that he was looking forward to the Super 14.

“‘It’s a tough competition and very challenging, but I’m excited about the competition,” he said. “There is a lot of spirit and confidence in the side.”

The Cheetahs will also welcome a number of new signings, with utility back Hennie Daniller, Springbok wing Jongi Nokwe, versatile back Jacques-Louis Potgieter, along with props Phillip Lemmer and Ronnie Uys.

It has also been rumoured that former South African schools player and Sharks Under-21 prop Sewes Oosthuizen may return to Bloemfontein.

By Gareth Green 365 Digital

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