Goose back for Cheetahs


Springbok flyhalf Johan Goosen will make a welcome return to the playing field when he starts for the Cheetahs in their opening Super Rugby encounter against the Sharks in Bloemfontein on Saturday.


“It is good to have Johan back in the thick of things,” Cheetahs coach Naka Drotske said on Wednesday.

“He is one of our star players and looked very good during practice. We look forward to a good performance from him against the Sharks.”

Goosen was kept on the sideline for nearly four months with a knee injury sustained last season. He also struggled with a sore heel which limited his goal kicking ability.

He had recovered in time to be included in the starting line-up and would partner with scrumhalf Piet van Zyl.

Drotske confirmed Springbok prop Coenie Oosthuizen will get some game time on Saturday.

Oosthuizen had recovered from a neck injury suffered last season while playing for the Springboks against England and had been included on the bench.

“He definitely will get some time on the field and as a ball carrier he will be crucial to our campaign,” Drotske said.

Drotske selected a side that combined power among the forwards with flair in the backline.

The Cheetahs had lost stalwarts Andries Strauss to the Kings and Sias Ebersohn to the Force, but their backline was all but lacking in pace.

Griquas fullback Willie le Roux was selected on wing, partnering with another exciting prospect in Raymond Rhule.

New signing Johann Sadie would start alongside Robert Ebersohn as the hosts’ centre combination after switching from the Bulls last season.

Loose forward Frans Viljoen earned a start in the flank position after impressive performances in the warm-up matches against the Stormers and Bulls.

He would be one of the go-to guys for the Cheetahs looking for quality first-phase possession.

“Frans brings that physical factor that we need and he will form a good combination with Lappies Labuschagne and Philip van der Walt,” Drotske said.

“We are playing our first game at home and it will be a huge boost if we can come away with the win.”



15. Hennie Daniller, 14. Willie le Roux, 13. Johann Sadie, 12. Robert Ebersohn, 11. Raymond Rhule, 10.Johan Goosen, 9. Piet van Zyl, 8. Philip van der Walt, 7. Lappies Labuschagne, 6. Frans Viljoen, 5. Francois Uys, 4. Lood de Jager, 3. Lourens Adriaanse, 2. Adriaan Strauss (captain), 1. Trevor Nyakane

Substitutes: 16. Ryno Barnes, 17. Coenie Oosthuizen, 18. Waltie Vermeulen, 19. Boom Prinsloo, 20 Sarel Pretorius, 21. Elgar Watts, 22. Ryno Benjamin

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  1. Goose & Willie is not the name of a Country & Western musical duo…..together, they form the “Axis of Awesome” for this season’s Fun N Gun Cheetah side.

    It will be fun while it lasts. Keep in mind that last year – when the Goose was still ambulatory – Cheetahs hung well due to Goose’s foot.

    Willie’s magical slotting in at flyhalf in the loose was the cherry on top.
    Surely World Cup Willie has more of that in store this season.
    :Ollie: :wave:

  2. Interesting looking backline, right down Shieldsie’s alley. Bit green overall, Danniler & Ebersohn the ones with most SR experience. They should account well of themselves, if they get good ball.
    Not so sure about the pack, 5 – 8 are workhorses but nothing special. If anything, the bench inspires more confidence than some of the starters. Judging by the looks of it only, they may of course prove me wrong.

    Reply to Americano @ 2:27 pm: World Cup Willie :mrgreen: Liked “Messerschmidt” more though!

  3. My worry regarding Sharks is their “Munchkin Menace” Paul Jordaan.

    He’s shiftier than a gypsy accelerating on a dime with serious gas- unlike the kind Ollie LeRoux has after Ethiopian cuisine –

    Naka Drotske’s elite defensive structures will surely be tested by Sharks latest version of…..Brent Russell… at 13.


  4. The Cheetah’s have a dangerous looking backline but between Sadie, le Roux and to a lesser extent Ebersohn they aren’t great defenders.

  5. Forgot Sadie was there… luckily chosen Daniller there too as otherwise Strauss would be tackling for Ebersohn, Willie, Rhule, Goosen…

    Not a bad side… weak front-row (other than Strauss) and weak locks… decent looking bench…

  6. Think the airy fairy cheetahs will do nothing this year, like all the previous years. But I am glad to see the Goose back in action. That kid is magic, sriously hope he has bulked up a bit and wont get injured as often as before.