Naka: The Cheetahs will be back

Former Cheetahs captain and coach Naka Drotske is confident that the franchise can overcome the setback of being excluded from PRO Rugby.

It was recently announced that the Bulls, Lions, Sharks and Stormers would represent South Africa in the new PRO16 Rainbow Cup competition.

The Cheetahs and Southern Kings, who had competed in the PRO14 since 2017, were subsequently left out in the cold.

Drotske, 49, was speaking at the recent 15-year reunion of Free State’s 2005 Currie Cup-winning side, who famously stunned the Blue Bulls 29-25 in the final in Pretoria.

“It’s tough times again. We went through that in the past and we always come back. There’s a lot of character and tradition in this union,” Drotske said.

Drotske feels the vast talent in the region will soon put the Cheetahs back on the map

“We create a lot of players coming through the Cheetahs that go on to play for South Africa, so the Cheetahs will be back.”

But there is hope for Cheetahs fans, with the franchise recently indicating it was keen to participate in the Intercontinental Shield competition in Europe.

Drotske, who coached the Cheetahs between 2007 and 2015, also played 26 Tests for the Springboks between 1993 and 1999.

– Compiled by Sport24 staff

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