Posted on Thursday, 07 Aug 2018
The 21-year-old Benhard Janse van Rensburg is relishing at the prospect of running out for the Toyota Cheetahs in the upcoming Guinness Pro14, which will kick-off for the team on 1 September.
Janse van Rensburg has been at the Cheetahs for quite some time now, however, he is one of the new players who has been contracted by the franchise.
The versatile backline player made a name for himself during the 2016 Varsity Cup, where he represented the North West University Pukke, who went on to win the title.
The following year, Janse van Rensburg, who was mainly used as a flyhalf, linked up with the Sharks, where he had limited game time. This led to him heading to the Southern Kings, where he played five games in the Pro14.
Janse van Rensburg got his first taste of rugby in the Free State when he ran out for Daan Human’s Toyota Free State XV side, during the SuperSport Rugby Challenge. During the competition he was used at flyhalf and at fullback as well, but proved to be a more than capable centre. This is the position Human favoured for the youngster.
His contribution in the midfield was instrumental in the team reaching the semi-finals, where they lost to the Tafel Lager Griquas.
As it stands, Janse van Rensburg appears to be a front-runner for securing one of the spots on offer in the Pro14 group, which will be in action in Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales, as well as in South Africa.
This will not be easy with numerous solid players in the squad, especially at flyhalf and at centre.
During the warm-up contact session against the Griffons, the former Junior Springbok pivot, scored four tries and came agonisingly close to crossing the white-wash on a fifth occasion.
The first prize will be to play in the Pro14, but Janse van Rensburg is more than happy to do whatever the team requires of him.
“The SuperSport Rugby Challenge was very nice competition for me to start off my campaign here at the Cheetahs. Especially for me having to settle in and go through the motions, it was an enjoyable experience.
“Coach Franco (Smith) spoke to me about the plans and he said that he wants to use me as a utility back and at centre. At the moment I’m in midfield, but I can play at flyhalf or at fullback, but he said that he will most probably use me more at centre.
“I hoping to be able to get involved in both of the competitions, but I want leave my mark on the Pro14. I just want enjoy playing here at the Cheetahs.”
The final squads for both the Currie Cup and the Pro14 will be named next week. At this stage it is unclear whether or not the Pro14 squad will play in the Currie Cup in preparation for their opener against Munster in Ireland next month. – MORGAN PIEK