Rhyno Smith - back in Bloemfontein (Picture Cheetahs)
The Cheetahs have boosted their team with the contracting of four new players for the upcoming Guinness PRO14.
The versatile Rhyno Smith, a utility back with the Sharks, is the only one of the four newcomers with regular Super Rugby experience. The other players are loose-forward Chris Massyn (two caps for the Stormers), the centre Chris Smit and the hooker Wilmar Arnoldi.
Interestingly, Arnoldi and Smit and Massyn have played for the Maties under the new Cheetahs coach Hawies Fourie who takes over the reins from Franco Smith, whom he understudies during the Currie Cup series.
All four the newcomers are currently playing for their respective provinces in the Currie Cup and will link up with the Cheetahs at the conclusion of the competition.
Rhyno Smith will be heading back to Bloemfontein after previously playing for the team in the PRO14 during the 2018/19 season. Smith, who was a star player for the Pukke in the Varsity Cup and for the Leopards in the Currie Cup first division, played for the Cheetahs on a loan deal. Smith has this time signed a three-year contract with the Cheetahs.
♦ Massyn joins the Cheetahs on a two-year contract from Western Province.
Massyn, who normally plays flank, led the Maties to the 2019 Varsity Cup title. He has the rare distinction of captaining two Varsity Cup teams to the title after previously also leading the University of Pretoria Tuks. In 2017, Tuks won the Varsity Cup under his leadership.
He has also played for both the Blue Bulls and the Boland Cavaliers.
The 25-year-old Massyn is known for being destructive with the ball in hand and difficult to deal with at the breakdown.
Chris Smit, who joined Griquas earlier in the year after winning the 2019 Varsity Cup with the Maties, will be joining the Cheetahs on a two-year contract.
The centre, who can also play at flyhalf, is cool-headed on the field and has a good distribution game which has caught the attention of many coaches in South Africa. He will be turning 24-years-old in August was named as the 2019 Varsity Cup Player of the Tournament.
♦ Arnoldi will be joining the Cheetahs on a two-year deal from Griquas. He was a star-performer for the Pukke for three years before joining Griquas in 2017. During that time he also represented the Leopards in the Currie Cup First Division. In 2017 Arnoldi was named in the Varsity Cup Dream Team.