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Rugby | Pro14

Craig Barry © Gallo Images

Cheetahs get double winger boost



The Toyota Cheetahs received a double boost in their bye week with the news that winger Craig Barry will return to their ranks from the Stormers, while exciting youngster Rabs Maxwane has been signed to the province until 2020.

Barry was on loan from the Stormers and made an immediate impact in the Guinness Pro14, scoring a brace in the win over the Scarletts and being an important part of the dangerous Cheetah counter-attack that sees them now third in their conference behind Glasgow and Munster.

According to Supersport.com’s information, the deal was negotiated by new High Performance Manager MJ Smith and Barry will return to Bloemfontein until the end of Pro14, when a decision will then be made about his future.

The news will come as a welcome relief to coach Rory Duncan, who lost both Barry and top try-scorer Makazole Mapimpi this past week. Mapimpi took up his contract with the Cell C Sharks and is a massive loss for the Cheetahs after headlining the competition's try-scoring log with 10 tries.

With the Stormers already having acquired Springbok Raymond Rhule and speedster Sergeal Petersen in the off-season, the Cheetahs' stocks were looking a bit bare. Luther Obi is still around and looking to impress, while former Southern Kings utility back Malcolm Jaer is also available

Maxwane had a decent run with Tuks last season in the Vodacom Cup and is highly rated, and has been with the Cheetahs for a few months now, but his signature will help the team’s depth in a tough competition.

“I haven’t heard the exact details, but I believe he is coming back, and we will definitely be excited to have him back. MJ Smith brokered the arrangements so I will tie in with him tomorrow for the details, but I obviously heard about it and I’m obviously very excited that he is returning,” Duncan said about Barry’s return.

“With regards to Rabs, he is a very exciting player that joined us from the Bulls. He has only had one opportunity to have an outing with the team but I am pretty sure that with weeks to come we are going to see more of him on the pitch. In terms of his strengths, he is really good under the high ball and has some really good footwork. He is an exciting player and I’m obviously looking forward to seeing him get a bit more game time.”

The Cheetahs will also get a boost before leaving for Cardiff for their next outing against the Blues on 10 February, with captain Francois Venter set to return from his neck injury while hooker Torsten van Jaarsveld will also rejoin the team.

Midfielder Tertius Kruger will also be available.



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