Specman goes from a Bull to a Cheetah, Manjezi goes the other way
The jumping‚ swerving‚ always bustling Springbok Sevens stalwart Rosko Specman will be back on display in the jersey of the Cheetahs after he concluded a two-year contract with the franchise.
Specman‚ who played Super Rugby for the Cheetahs in 2017 and represented them in the Currie Cup in seven matches and the Pro14 in four, returns to the franchise after a stint at the Bulls.
Specman‚ who moved north to chase his Super Rugby dream and enhance his chances of becoming a Bok in the 15-man code‚ made an impression in Pretoria but his star dimmed for a while.
Cheetahs coach Hawies Fourie is delighted to welcome back a player who is likely to revel in the team’s attack-minded style.
“It’s a great signing for us. He is a great team player‚ has a very good work rate‚ and has the X-factor that we all like and need‚” said Fourie.
“We are looking forward to having Specman join us in July. I am very happy to have him in our squad. It will just strengthen our back-three and the competition for a place in the starting line-up will be fierce. That is what I want.
“We want quality players with strong competition among the players in the squad. He will add a lot of spice to the competition‚” said Fourie of Specman‚ who was part of the Blitzboks team that claimed the bronze medal at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.
Specman will be allowed to dream of gold should the postponed Tokyo Olympics go ahead in 2021.
“The Cheetahs will allow Rosko to play for the Blitzbokke in certain tournaments. He will be available for the Olympic Games in 2021 if he makes the squad‚” Fourie confirmed.
• The tug-of-war for Sintu Manjezi, 25, between the Cheetahs and Bulls has come to an amicable conclusion as the lock will be part of the Pretoria franchise from July 1.
This ends an unexpected saga in which Manjezi’s contractual status with the Bloemfontein franchise over an extension of his contract became a bone of contention.
City Press had recently reported that the Bulls were going to intervene with regards to his contract with the Cheetahs.
In the end‚ the Bulls and Cheetahs have reached an agreement and the St Andrew’s College old boy‚ who has been playing elite rugby since 2015 when he featured for the Southern Kings‚ will be making the 467km trip from Mangaung to Tshwane.
The Bulls do not have that many viable options at lock. Juandre Kruger‚ Andries Ferreira and to an extent Ian Groenewald have not covered themselves in glory during their stuttering Super Rugby campaign‚ while Ruan Nortjé has shown glimpses of talent.
Manjezi was a constant feature for the Cheetahs in the Pro14‚ but made his biggest leap in the 2019 Currie Cup success for the Cheetahs where he featured in all eight games‚ including the final where they beat the Golden Lions.
The Bulls have gained an adaptable lock in Manjezi‚ a quality that has interested director of rugby Jake White.
“Sintu is a talented player for the future and is a powerhouse that packs all the skills that make a good lock. He can slot in at lock or as a loose-forward. I firmly believe that he has what it takes to play at the highest level‚” White said.
The Cheetahs have confirmed Manjezi will be joining the Bulls on 1 July 2020.
An agreement was reached involving the exchange of players‚ as well as compensation.
The 25-year-old Manjezi joined the Cheetahs from the Griquas at the end of 2018 and worked his way into the Pro14 squad where he played 11 matches.
He also played eight Currie Cups games‚ including the final, which the Cheetahs won.