The Cheetahs will face French giants Toulon in the Challenge Cup round of 16 clash at Stade Mayol on Saturday without veteran playmaker Frans Steyn.
Steyn took a knock to his knee in Friday’s 32-7 victory for the Bloemfontein outfit against the Vodacom Bulls at Toyota Stadium in the Currie Cup, and has not been included in a 25-man touring squad set to depart for France on Tuesday.
His experience of French conditions and opposition – he played for Racing 92 and Montpellier between 2009 and 2020 – would have been crucial to the Free Staters for their first appearance in the knockout stages of European competition.
Steyn’s latest injury is also a national concern, as the 35-year-old hopes to feature for the Springboks at a fourth Rugby World Cup in six months’ time in what is likely to be his swansong Test season.
The full Cheetahs tour squad:
Rynier Bernardo, Schalk Ferreira, Munier Hartzenberg, Marko Janse van Rensburg, Cohen Jasper, Daniel Kasende, Rewan Kruger, Daniel Maartens, Tapiwa Mafura, Jeandrè Rudolph, Victor Sekekete (c), Alutlutho Tshakweni, Marnus van der Merwe, Gideon van der Merwe, Hencus van Wyk, Mzwanele Zito, Louis van der Westhuizen, Robert Ebersohn, Reinhardt Fortuin, Ruan Pienaar, David Brits, Oupa Mohoje, Nqobisizwe Mxoli, Sibabalo Qoma, Conraad van Vuuren.
The Toyota Cheetahs will travel to France for the EPCR Challenge Cup Round of 16 match on Tuesday, 28 March 2023. ???
— Toyota Cheetahs (@CheetahsRugby) March 27, 2023