Cheetahs deny Rose link

The Cheetahs have confirmed that they have not made a move for out-of-favour Lions utility back Earl Rose.

According to reports on SuperSport, Lions CEO Manie Reyneke said Rose, who was dropped to the Vodacom Cup side by head coach Dick Muir in the latter stages of the Super 14, was linked with a move to the Cheetahs in a direct swap for No 8 Ashley Johnson.

However, Cheetahs assistant coach Hawies Fourie has denied this.

‘We have not made a move for Earl and Ashley isn’t leaving us,’ Fourie told keo.co.za. ‘[Centre] Philip Snyman spoke to me about it three weeks ago when he heard the rumours and then I started seeing them in the papers. And now this report [SuperSport] has come out.

‘I’ve spoken to [head coach] Naka Drotske and he has denied these reports. There’s nothing that’s happening from our side.’

The Cheetahs have lost wing Danwel Demas to Italian club Viadana after the Super 14 but have boosted their backline ranks with the signing of Springbok Sevens speedster MJ Mentz and have Lions utility back Shandre Frolick on trial.

‘We have MJ who will join us for the Currie Cup and Shandre is on a two to three-week trial. We will see how that goes,’ said Fourie.

Meanwhile, the Cheetahs are continuing to extend their senior players’ contracts. Keo.co.za reported earlier this month that skipper Juan Smith, hooker Adriaan Strauss, tighthead prop WP Nel, openside flank Heinrich Brüssow and fullback Hennie Daniller all signed extensions.

Fourie confirmed that loose forward Frans Viljoen has also committed his future to the Cheetahs. However, he admitted that they may lose inside centre Meyer Bosman to the Sharks at the end of the Currie Cup.

‘It does seem that Meyer will be leaving us when his contract expires at the end of October but we will see what happens when the time comes,’ said Fourie. ‘Naka is also negotiating contract extensions with the Ebersohn twins [who have been approached by the Sharks]. [Flyhalf] Sias wants to leave but [centre] Robert wants to stay.’

This website has it on good authority that if Sias signs for the Sharks, it is likely that Robert will join him in Durban.

By Gareth Duncan