Cats lose their captain

Inspirational skipper Wikus van Heerden has withdrawn from the Cats team to play the Bulls in Saturday’s Vodacom Super 14 derby at Loftus.

Flyhalf Andre Pretorius has taken over the captaincy and Cobus Grobbelaar will wear the No 6 jersey.

According to Beeld newpaper, Van Heerden has an inflamed knee and the decision to withdraw him was taken after Wednesday afternoon’s training session.

“He’s a tremendous stalwart who gives his all in every match. This is a huge challenge for the team to perform in his absence,” Cats coach Frans Ludeke told Hennie Brandt.

Pretorius said he was looking forward to the challenge of leading the side.

“Someone has to lead the team on to the field and take decisions on the spot. I’m following in Wikus’ footsteps and it’s a great honour to be the Cats captain,” he said. “We’re nearing the end of the competition and every player knows what he has to do. The new responsibility won’t put additional pressure on me.”