Will the last player to leave Bloemfontein please switch off the lights!


The mass exodus from the Cheetahs shows no signs of relenting any time soon.

The latest confirmed departure is that of lock Ian Groenewald who has signed a two-year deal with French Pro D2 club Valence Romans.

Groenewald, 28, only joined the Bloemfontein-based team from Griquas on November 1.


The uncertainty surrounding the Cheetahs’ future following their exclusion from the expanded PRO16 tournament from 2021 onwards no doubt played a part in his decision to pack his bags and seek greener pastures.

The Cheetahs squad has been decimated in recent weeks, and while the union will no doubt be putting on a brave face, it’s certainly worrying – yet expected – as the proud franchise scrambles to secure their future.

Last weekend reports emerged that promising prop Boan Venter was on his way to the UK with a number of English and Scottish clubs interested in the 23-year-old’s services.

Tian Schoeman and Reinach Venter have both confirmed they are set to further their careers in Europe – at Bath and Clermont Auvergne, respectively.


Prop Luan de Bruin has already left Bloemfontein for Leicester, where he will join former team-mate Jasper Wiese.

Lock Walt Steenkamp (Bulls) and centre Benhard Janse van Rensburg (Japan) left towards the end of October while lock JP du Preez recently joined Sale Sharks.

Cheetahs Bloemfontein
Try time for Benhard Janse van Rensburg of the Free State Cheetahs during the Currie Cup match between Vodacom Blue Bulls and Toyota Free State XV at Loftus Versfeld on July 19, 2019 in Pretoria, South Africa. (Photo by Gordon Arons/Gallo Images)

Most recently, hooker Jacques du Toit became the latest addition to the English Premiership ranks by signing a short-term deal with Bath with an eye on a longer stay.

Meanwhile, forwards coach Corniel van Zyl is set to join London Irish.


Another lock departs

DMCA.com Protection Status


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here