Pietersen set for flyhalf stint

Joe Pietersen is poised to take over the No 10 jersey for the start of the Cheetahs' Vodacom Super Rugby campaign.

With last season's pivot, Johan Goosen, currently plying his trade in France, the Cheetahs will need to look elsewhere for a flyhalf ahead of their opening match against the Sharks in Durban on 14 February.

They certainly aren't short of options with Pietersen, Francois Brummer, Willie du Plessis and the injured Elgar Watts all coming into contention, although all lack the pedigree of the departed Goosen.

Hawies Fourie, the Cheetahs backline coach, confirmed on Thursday that Pietersen is being considered as a flyhalf, despite having played most of his Super Rugby as a fullback.

Fourie believes the former Biarritz player has the ability to adjust to the role, where his tactical and goal-kicking could be an asset to the side.

'Pietersen is very good on attack and shows great vision,' Fourie told Netwerk24. 'He is also an experienced player who knows how to handle pressure and can put guys in gaps.'

'I believe he has enough skills to make it [his move to flyhalf] work.'

Fourie also confirmed that Watts, who served as Goosen's understudy during the 2014 season, is making good progress with his recovery from a knee injury and is set to return earlier than expected.

It was initially thought Watts would be out until April, but there's a chance he will return in mid-March, although it's unlikely he will form part of the Cheetahs touring squad, which will depart on 15 March.

With Watts on the injured list, Pietersen, Brummer and Du Plessis will each get a chance to stake their claim for a starting spot during their team's practice matches against the Bulls, Stormers and Griffons.

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