Junior Pokomela. Picture:GALLO IMAGES/JOHAN PRETORIUS
Junior Pokomela. Picture:GALLO IMAGES/JOHAN PRETORIUS

Covid-19 may be tightening its grip on the sporting purse strings but the Cheetahs have extended six players’ contracts.

Former SA Under-20 vice-captain Junior Pokomela has had his contract extended until October 31 2022‚ with fellow flanker Aidon Davis.

Props Aranos Coetzee and Charles Marais have also been contracted until that date. Utility forward Marnus van der Merwe will remain in Bloemfontein until October 31 2023.

American scrum half Ruben de Haas’s contract will terminate at the end of October 2021.

Coetzee represented Namibia in two Rugby World Cups and was the recipient of the Cheetahs’ Super Rugby player of the year award in 2017.

His contract extension with that of Marais will bring continuity to the Cheetahs’ front row.

Davis‚ is a former SA Schools and Junior Springbok loose forward‚ returned to SA following a stint in France‚ where he played for Toulon and Bayonne.

Davis represented the Cheetahs in several Guinness Pro14 matches last season‚ but his season ended abruptly when he sustained a bad leg fracture in a training session.

Pokomela who made his Super Rugby and Currie Cup debut in 2017 is also on SA Rugby’s pay roll.

US Eagles scrumhalf De Haas is a third generation Free State player.

His father Pieter‚ and grandfather‚ Gerard‚ both represented the Free State at provincial level. Although he was born in George‚ De Haas‚ grew up in Arkansas. He represented the US at the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.

The Cheetahs are in limbo following the suspension of Pro14. They won six of their 13 matches this season and are placed fourth in Conference A of the points table.