CJ’s a Cheetah … for now

CJ van der Linde has only signed a six-month deal with the Cheetahs, which makes him a free agent next season.

The Springbok loosehead prop returns to the Cheetahs after his two-year stint at Irish club Leinster. Van der Linde will play for the Cheetahs in the Currie Cup – a big boost for the Bloemfontein-based union as first-choice loosehead Wian du Preez leaves for Munster at the end of June.

However, there is a chance that Van der Linde will sign for another union next season.

‘CJ will only play in the Currie Cup for the Cheetahs. He has received offers from other teams, so he will keep his options open for next year,’ Van der Linde’s agent Stephan Weyers told keo.co.za.

It was reported in the Beeld that Van der Linde’s move was financially supported by Saru as they offered him a Springbok contract until the World Cup. However, Weyers and Saru national teams manager Andy Marinos denied this.

‘CJ will be paid normal squad fees and bonuses for every match he is selected for. There has been no contract signed yet,’ Marinos also told this site.

‘Saru has not given any financial support for CJ’s move to the Cheetahs, they have paid for the deal themselves. By being based at the Cheetahs, we can assure Van der Linde he will be considered for Springbok selection more regularly as a local-based player.

‘We will only offer CJ a Bok contract next year, but that all depends on current form and fitness and whether he is in contention for a place in the World Cup squad.’

By Gareth Duncan