Rassie: Lardy will pull his weight

The Cheetahs’ signing of former Springbok Quinton Davids has baffled most, but coach Rassie Erasmus believes in keeping his options open.

“It’s an area in which I’ve been looking to bulk up and Davids brings stability to the scrum and is very strong on the tighthead side,” Erasmus told keo.co.za.

Since the start of his coaching career, Erasmus has been both lauded and criticised for his somewhat cavalier tactical approach. But for most, this wildcard selection seems to be just one gamble too far.

“We’ve brought Quinton in because he is a very physical player and a great ball carrier,” said Erasmus. “He has played for the Springboks and talent like that doesn’t just disappear.”

The 30-year-old, 120 kg Davids played nine Tests for the Boks, the last when he came off the bench in a Tri-Nations loss to the All Blacks in Christchurch in 2004.

He left South Africa in 2005 to play rugby for Gloucester, where he only managed to get selected for four games in an entire season. At the conclusion of the Premiership, he was told that he was no longer needed.

“I am looking to add depth to the pack,” said Erasmus. “We suffered a lot of injuries pre-season. I may use Davids in the games where we need more power in the scrums. We will have to see how it goes.”

Davids has been slated in the media for his poor conditioning, and the extra kilos he is carrying is an obvious concern, but Erasmus says that Davids will be up for it in the Currie Cup.

“He is much fitter than some of the other forwards around here. Granted, he is not Super 14 fit. but he has been working hard and should be ready for the Currie Cup. All players are contracted to maintain a certain level of fitness. If your fitness is not up to standard, you take a pay-cut or don’t make the team.”

By Jon Cardinelli