Simnikiwe Xabanisa

Chavhanga on trial at Cheetahs

Former Springbok wing Tonderai Chavhanga has agreed a short-term deal with the Cheetahs for the Currie Cup, reports GARETH DUNCAN.

Chavhanga, who is returning to South Africa after a two-year stint at Welsh club Newport Gwent Dragons, will be given an opportunity to prove his worth for the Cheetahs during the domestic competition. The 29-year-old has struggled with  injuries in recent years, but is now fully fit.

The Zimbabwe-born speedster will add experience to the Free State squad, having played Super Rugby for the Stormers and Lions, while he also featured in four Tests for the Springboks between 2005 and 2008. He holds the South African record for most tries in a Test, dotting down six times against Uruguay in East London in 2005.

Chavhanga started his career in Bloemfontein, where he spent two years playing age-group rugby in 2002 and 2003.

Cheetahs CEO Harold Verster said the player's contract could be extended if he makes a good impression.

'We have Tonderai on board for the rest of the year,' Verster told 'He wants to make a comeback, so he needs to prove to us that he can add value. He's fully fit and looking very confident.'

Verster also confirmed that the Cheetahs have signed Bulls centre Francois Venter and Leopards tighthead prop John Roy Jenkinson on two-year contracts.

'Francois has fallen behind Jan Serfontein at the Bulls and in the Springbok squad,' said Verster. 'He will get more game time here at the Cheetahs. He's also from Bloemfontein, so that helps too.

'Both players will add quality, having represented South Africa at junior level.'

Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

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