The Stormers will benefit the most from the Lions’ exit from Super Rugby in 2013, snapping up at least three players.
In other news the Free State Cheetahs have been dealt a big blow with the news that star flank Heinrich Brüssow will be out of action for a lengthy period.
The Springbok injured his shoulder in the Cheetahs’ 35-20 Currie Cup win over Griquas last Saturday, and according to Volksblad will be out for about six months.
Cheetahs coach Naka Drotské said his ace flank will soon undergo an operation which will leave him in a race against time to be fit for next year’s Super Rugby competition.
The Lions will announce the future plans of several of the Johannesburg-based union’s players in a special press conference on Wednesday morning, and according to the supersport.com website, Lions acting CEO Ruben Moggee will announce the folllowing:
Tighthead Pat Cilliers – to sign with the Stormers (permanent)
Flank Michael Rhodes – to sign with the Stormers (permanent)
Flyhalf Elton Jantjies – to sign with the Stormers (loan agreement)
Centre Lionel Mapoe – to sign with the Bulls (loan agreement)
Lock Franco van der Merwe – to sign with the Sharks (loan agreement)
Centre Jaco Taute – to sign with either the Stormers or Sharks
On a more positive note, the Lions have signed Bulls flank Warwick Tecklenburg and Blue Bulls and former SA Under-20 lock Franco Mostert.
CHEETAHS IN TROUBLE
The Cheetahs take on the Sharks in Bloemfontein on Saturday and now have serious loose forward problems. Brüssow joins loosies Kabamba Floors (knee), Frans Viljoen (arm), Boom Prinsloo (shoulder) and Juan Smith (Achilles) on the sidelines.
Hendro Scholtz could also miss the Sharks game after receiving a hard knock to the head, while Philip van der Walt, Lappies Labuschagné and Davon Raubenheimer are the only available loose forwards. This could see Francois Uys, who was utilised mainly as a lock recently, shift to flank with the young Carl Wegner coming in at lock.
The Cheetahs are currently fourth on the six-team Currie Cup log with 17 points, two ahead of Griquas, while the Sharks are second on 25 points. The top four teams qualify for the semi-finals with the last-placed team playing promotion-relegation against the winner of the First Division.
Free State’s clash against the Sharks kicks off at 19:10 on Saturday.