American international De Haas eager to learn at the Cheetahs
10:10 Tue, 07 Aug 2018
American international De Haas eager to learn at the Cheetahs | News Article
Ruben de Haas - Morgan Piek
The number-nine jersey at the Toyota Cheetahs will be one of the most hotly contested this season with no less than seven scrumhalves in the current squad of players.

The biggest name in the position is that of the Springbok, Rudy Paige, while the two most established players in the Cheetahs set up are Shaun Venter and Tian Meyer.

The former junior Springbok, Zee Mkhabela, has also been at the franchise for numerous years, however, he is most inexperienced of the established played in the setup.

In comes the latest Junior Springbok from the Free State, Rewan Kruger, and Dian Badenhorst, the son of the Free State great, Chris Badenhorst, as well as USA Eagles international, Ruben de Haas.

De Haas was born in South Africa, however, raised in Jessieville, Arkansas. In 2018 he represented the Central University of Technology Ixias in the Varsity Cup.

He then played a handful of games for the Toyota Free State XV in the SuperSport Rugby Challenge, before being called up to the Eagles by the former Springbok assistant and Sharks coach, Gary Gold, for his full international debut in June.

At only 19-years-old, De Haas is certainly one of the youngest members that has been contracted at the Cheetahs, however, Free State rugby is in his blood.

His dad, Pieter, and grandfather, Gerard, both represented the Free State in provincial rugby.

De Haas has applied for United Kingdom (UK) visas along with numerous of his teammates, however, it is more than likely that he will be a little more involved with the Currie Cup, rather than the Guinness Pro14 for now.

De Haas told OFM Sport that learning from the more senior statesmen such as Paige, Venter and Meyer, will be the first objective during his tenure at the Cheetahs.

“Talking about the abundance of nines, yes sir, there are a lot of scrumhalves, but for me the biggest thing is to be around those guys like Rudy Paige, Tian Meyer and Shaun Venter.

As a young player learning from those guys every day, taking their tips and just being around them in a high rugby environment.

“This will be my goal for the next two years – to learn what I can every day from the senior guys in order for me to be the best that I can be.”

The Toyota Free State Cheetahs kick off their 2018 season against the Blue Bulls in Bloemfontein on 17 August, while the Toyota Cheetahs get their Pro14 campaign underway against Munster in Ireland on 1 September.

@MorganPiek OFM Sport

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