The Cheetahs have managed to sign former Grey College duo Marcell Muller and George Cronje from French clubs Montpellier and Clermont respectively.
Muller and Cronje turned out for Grey, Free State and SA Schools last year, but were part of a group off 22 schoolboy players who signed lucrative contracts with overseason clubs post-matric.
Muller had signed a long-term deal with Montpellier, while Cronje agreed a six-month deal with Clermont.
But according to Rapport newspaper, Cheetahs coach Hawies Fourie has lured the teenage pair back to Bloemfontein, with the promise that both would play for the senior team by the time they are 21.
Cronje was arguably the best loose forward at school level last year and was also the SA Schools vice-captain.
Muller is one of the most highly-rated wings, but with the exception of the Blitzboks, no the local team had shown interest in him in 2019 and that is why he accepted Montpellier’s offer. The winger – who is 102kg and 1.87m and can run the 100m in 11.1 seconds – also attracted interest from the Brumbies, a Japanese club and a university in the USA.
Jan-Harm van Wyk, Muller’s agent, told Rapport that his client and Montpellier had parted by mutual consent.
‘We felt that it would be best for his development if he returned to the Cheetahs,’ Van Wyk said.
Both Muller and Cronje will join the Cheetahs on 1 July and will be contracted to the union until at least 2021.
Photo: Morgan Piek