Rugby 14.3.2017 02:20 pm

Cheetahs sigh as influential Raymond is R(h)uled out

Big loss: Raymond Rhule won't go to Argentina with the Cheetahs. Photo: Johan Pretorius/Gallo Images.

Big loss: Raymond Rhule won't go to Argentina with the Cheetahs. Photo: Johan Pretorius/Gallo Images.

Key absences hamper the central franchise as they depart for Argentina but at least they’ve won two on the trot.

Boosted by the rare phenomenon of back-to-back wins in the Super Rugby competition, the Cheetahs departed on Tuesday for their away match against the Jaguares this weekend with seemingly the same intentions as the Lions.

Although not quite duplicating the Lions’ debatable policy by resting a few of their top players, they will however be without at least four of their top players.

Also read: Bulls and SA hope Jan Serfontein brings out the best in ‘Pollie’ 

Coach Franco Smith named a 25-man squad missing the ace names of regular captain and centre Francois Venter, flank Uzair Cassiem, wing Raymond Rhule and prop Ox Nche.

Venter hasn’t featured in any of the Cheetahs three matches so far due to an ankle injury and he is not ready to return just yet.

Cassiem and Nche missed last weekend’s match against the Sunwolves after picking up knee injuries in the previous week’s win over the Bulls and probably won’t return before the end of this month.

Rhule was one of three players who picked up nasty bumps and probable concussion last weekend along with centre Clinton Swart and loose forward Tier Schoeman.

The speedy Rhule’s absence will be felt as he’s been outstanding to date in this campaign, especially impressing with his willingness to look for work.

Both Swart and Schoeman were cleared though.

A big boost for the side are the returns of centre William Small-Smith and scrumhalf Shaun Venter.

Star wing Sergeal Petersen however is not ready to return yet after picking up a knee injury in the first game against the Lions, while lock Reniel Hugo was ruled out for the rest of the competition last week with a torn knee ligament.

 

Cheetahs squad: Rayno Benjamin, Clayton Blommetjies, Tom Botha, Aranos Coetzee, Joseph Dweba, Elandre Huggett, Niell Jordaan, Armandt Koster, Charles Marais, Niel Marais, Tian Meyer, Danie Mienie, Oupa Mohoje, Boom Prinsloo, Paul Schoeman, William Small-Smith, Clinton Swart, Francois Uys, Michael van der Spuy, Torsten van Jaarsveld, Ruan van Rensburg, Henco Venter, Shaun Venter, Carl Wegner, Fred Zeilinga.

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