May 28, 2017

Cheetahs to lose Petersen?

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Joining mass exodus…Cheetahs winger Sergeal Phillipe Petersen set to join Stormers next season

Joining mass exodus…Cheetahs winger Sergeal Phillipe Petersen set to join Stormers next season

Petersen is one of the more experienced players in the side, having toured with the Springboks on their year-end tour to Europe last year which saw him making his debut against the Barbarians.

The Free State Cheetahs’ perennial tag of ‘feeder team’, which has seen them losing key players to bigger franchises over the years, looks set to continue with winger Sergeal Petersen reported to be on his way to team up with the Stormers.

Robbie Fleck, Stormers coach on Friday confirmed interest in the player, stating that Pertersen would be a perfect fit in the team when it campaigns in the 2018 Super Rugby competition.

Fleck, who has reportedly been looking for a replacement of Toulouse-bound Chelsin Kolbe, could not be drawn to affirming when the player will join the team, stating that there were processes to be followed.

“As far as I know he’s still contracted to the Cheetahs. He’s a quality player and like any other team we’d love to have him in our squad” he told The Weekly.
Surprisingly, the Cheetahs have remained mum on the matter in the face of the Cape side’s increasing interest in the player.

Cheetahs coach Franco Smit said Petersen remained their player until further notice.

“Petersen remains our player. It would be immature for us to comment on something that has not yet happened. As far as I know, he is very much our player,” said Smit.

Despite their determination for hold on to the winger, sources close to the club have confirmed that Petersen’s days in the Cheetahs’ orange shirt were numbered as he will soon be heading for the Stormers.

“He loves playing for the Cheetahs but this is no doubt a big move for him, both financially and otherwise,” the source told The Weekly, further adding that Petersen will join the Stormers once both franchises have agreed terms.

The sources added what makes Petersen’s decision even easier is because of the dark cloud hovering over the Cheetahs’ Vodacom Super Rugby future. “This may make Petersen’s decision to move to Cape Town an easy one,” he further explained.

It goes without saying that Petersen is one of the more experienced players in the side, having toured with the Springboks on their year-end tour to Europe last year which saw him making his debut against the Barbarians at Wembley, even though the game was not an official Test.

The former Junior Springbok formerly represented the Southern Kings, before joining the Cheetahs in 2015. Meanwhile, it is also being reported that the Stormers are eager to sign Kings flank CJ Velleman.

Kings CEO Charl Crous confirmed that the Stormers have declared an interest in the player, although nothing has been finalized as yet.

“The Stormers have declared interest in CJ but nothing has been finalized as yet. Chances are this will be concluded at the end of the season,” Crous told The Weekly.

Asked whether they would release the player at the end of the season, Crous responded: “Much as we hate losing our key players, we can’t stand in his way. It’s his career, his future. We can only wish him well in his future endeavours as and when the time comes.”

Although the deal might not be a done deal as yet, but it’s obvious that the dominant CJ will join the Cape side who since the beginning of the season have been in search for a specialist ball fetcher and the Kings player fits the profile just perfectly.

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