The Cheetahs’ below-par performances in the Currie Cup are directly related to the uncertainty about the team’s future, said seasoned fullback Clayton Blommetjies.
“The uncertainty at the Cheetahs and where the team will play in future is in the heads of some of the players,” said Blommetjies.
“Personally I don’t think it should have an effect because we are professional players, but for some it does,” he said.
The 30-year-old Blommetjies, who recently played his 100th game for the Cheetahs, is in his final season with the franchise, after previously turning out for the Bulls, Scarlets and Leicester Tigers.
Blommetjies is one of a number of players who has recently copped criticism from angry supporters, but he believed the entire squad had suffered because of the departures of a number of seasoned players and injuries during the last few months.
“If you focus too much on what will happen it will play tricks with your mind. I know it serves no purpose to worry too much about where we, the Cheetahs, could end up next year,” he said.
There is talk that the Bloemfontein-based side will join the Intercontinental Shield competition and play against teams from Europe, Germany and Russia. This will only be ratified by organisers in February next year.
The Cheetahs play away to the Pumas in the Currie Cup on Friday after suffering big recent losses to the Bulls and the Lions.
Blommetjies said that despite recent performances and results, if the Cheetahs played up to their usual standard they could be competitive in any competition in the world.