The Cheetahs’ already daunting Pro14 campaign just got a lot tougher with captain Oupa Mohoje being ruled out with a long-term injury.
Mohoje injured a knee in the Cheetahs 38-0 defeat against Munster in Limerick on Saturday. He has already returned home and the Cheetahs are bracing themselves to be without their captain for a substantial length of time.
The Cheetahs have called up Gerhard Olivier as a replacement and are likely to be captained by scrumhalf Shaun Venter in this weekend’s clash against the Ospreys.
Mohoje has had a torrid run of injuries over the past few seasons. He has overcome a serious knee injury that slammed the brakes on a promising career.
He fought his way back into the Test squad but was concussed and missed the last Test of the series against France in 2017. He has only played two Tests since.
Only loosehead Ox Nché has Test experience‚ and it is only one Test at that. Scrumhalf Rudy Paige‚ who was in the Springbok Rugby World Cup squad in 2015‚ is not in the touring group.
The Cheetahs‚ who reached the play-offs in last season’s Pro14 competition, have since lost their most experienced players. Former captain and centre Francois Venter‚ loose forward Uzair Cassiem‚ fullback Clayton Blommetjies‚ locks Francois Uys‚ Reniel Hugo and Carl Wegner‚ flyhalf Fred Zeilinga‚ hooker Torsten van Jaarsveld‚ as well as wings Sergeal Petersen and Makazole Mapimpi have all moved on.
Former head coach Rory Duncan moved to Worcester Warriors, where he joined up with former Stormers coach Alan Solomons, who is the club’s director of rugby.