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Cheetahs are sweating over in-form Van der Merwe

───   MORGAN PIEK 09:08 Mon, 01 Apr 2024

Cheetahs are sweating over in-form Van der Merwe | News Article
Marnus van der Merwe - Morgan Piek

“The only little bit of an injury worry is Marnus. He pulled a bit of calf, so we will have to make a call on him on Monday. That's because of our short week which will see us traveling to France on Tuesday already.”

The Toyota Cheetahs are sweating over the fitness of their star hooker, Marnus van der Merwe, ahead of their trip to France for the EPCR Challenge Cup round of 16.

On the weekend, Van der Merwe, who was the only Cheetah invited to the Springbok alignment camp, sustained a calf niggle during the 76-5 win against the Leopards in Potchefstroom.

The Scarlets-bound Van der Merwe is a try scoring machine for the Cheetahs and his recent experience as a loan player for the Ospreys in the United Rugby Championship will be of great value for the Currie Cup champions in their knockout match against Clermont.

The Cheetahs coach, Izak van der Westhuizen, told OFM Sport that Van der Merwe sustained an injury and they are waiting for the scans.

“The only little bit of an injury worry is Marnus,” said Van der Westhuizen.

“He pulled a bit of calf, so we will have to make a call on him on Monday. That's because of our short week which will see us traveling to France on Tuesday already.”

Hencus van Wyk (right) - Morgan Piek

Just before kick-off against the Leopards in Potchefstroom on Saturday, the tighthead prop, Hencus van Wyk, who was set to start, was withdrawn, and replaced in the starting team by Laurence Victor.

Van der Westhuizen told OFM Sport that Van Wyk was experiencing a minor neck issue, but he should be fine for the match against the French Top14 team.

“Hencus will be fine later in the week - with the bus travel he had a very stiff neck when we arrived, so we didn't want to take any chances.

“Luckily, we are only traveling on Tuesday, so even if he has a stiff neck, we've still got time for him to recover.”

The Cheetahs will fly out of Bloemfontein at 14:00 on Tuesday and are expected to arrive in France at 10:00 on Wednesday.

Saturday's game at Stade Marcel Michelin kicks off at 13:30.

Morgan Piek OFM Sport

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