The Central Cheetahs , known for sponsorship reasons as the Toyota Cheetahs, is a South African rugby union team that entered the Super Rugby competition in 2006. They are based at the Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein .The franchise area encompasses the western half of the Free State province, the same as that of provincial Currie Cup side the Rut Free State Cheetahs. Between 2006 and 2015, the Rut Griffons from the eastern half of the Free State province and Rut Griquas from the Northern Cape province were Cheetahs franchise partners, but this ended prior to the 2016 Super Rugby season .The Cheetahs was one of the two new franchises that entered the expanded Super 14 competition in 2006, the other being Australia's Western Force . The Central Union was awarded the fifth South African franchise over the SEC franchise in April 2005. In its first season the Cheetahs did surprisingly well, finishing tenth in the final standings, out of 14 sides. Prior to being accepted into the 2006 Super 14 season, the Cheetahs areas were represented as a part of the Cats franchise. In addition, before South Africa entered franchises into the Super 14, the Free State Currie Cup side competed in the 1997 Super 12 season .

Strip


The primary strip for the Toyota Cheetahs is an white jersey with an orange collar and orange trim. White shorts with orange socks and white trim. The colours are representative of the Free State Currie Cup side; orange and white (Free State Cheetahs)The alternative jersey is the same design, though it is an orange jersey with an white collar and dark-orange trim. Orange shorts with orange socks and white trim.

Current Standings


#PWDLGoalsPts
1Crusaders10802324:20237
2Chiefs10802342:23837
3Highlanders11803295:20537
4Hurricanes11704331:24036
5Stormers10613265:17531
6Waratahs10604256:18930
7Brumbies11704277:24729
8Bulls10613258:22128
9Lions9603268:23527
10Sharks10514206:17126
11Blues9513230:21825
12Melbourne Rebels10505235:25823
13Cheetahs11308296:29616
14Jaguares9207237:25412
15Reds11218198:30912
16Western Force10208183:32110
17Sunwolves10118219:3799
18Southern Kings10109190:4524

Recent Matches


Cheetahs Last 5 Results
DateHomeScoreAwayNotesDetails
30 Apr 2016Reds30 - 17Cheetahs   Details
28 May 2016Stormers31 - 24Cheetahs   Details
26 Mar 2016Cheetahs18 - 25Brumbies   Details
26 Feb 2016Cheetahs33 - 34Jaguares   Details
22 Apr 2016Melbourne Rebels36 - 14Cheetahs   Details


Cheetahs Next 5 Matches
DateHomevsAwayNotesDetails
02 Jul 2016CheetahsvsWestern Force   Details
09 Jul 2016SharksvsCheetahs   Details
16 Jul 2016CheetahsvsBulls   Details

History


Prior to South Africa entering franchises into the then Super 12, the domestic Currie Cup sides competed instead. The Free State Cheetahs, one of the sides that make up the current Central Cheetahs, competed in one Super 12 season in 1997.In mid April 2005, the South African Rugby Union announced that the Central Unions franchise would be its fifth team for the expanded Super 14 competition that would begin in 2006. They were awarded the franchise ahead of the Southern and Eastern Cape (see Southern Spears ). In the pre-season of their entrance to the new look Super 14 competition, the Cheetahs played both of the other new franchises, new Australian team; the Western Force and 2007 fellow South African team, the Southern Spears. The Cheetahs proved to be the strongest out of the new sides, demolishing the Spears 48 to nil and soundly defeating the Force in Perth, 29 to 19.The Cheetahs played their first game on 10 February, proving they are fighting fit, but were not good enough on the day for the South African Bulls, losing their first official match in Bloemfontein 18 points to 30. The Cheetahs won their first Super 14 game in week two, defeating the Sharks in a thrilling match seeing the Cheetahs win by a single point, 27 to 26. Entering round four of the 2006 season, the Cheetahs were facing the table leaders, the Hurricanes. In a surprise result, the Cheetahs beat the table leaders, thus winning their first home game and proving they deserve to be in the Super 14.Citation needed|date=May 2010The Cheetahs finally broke their drought in overseas matches with an upset over the New South Wales Waratahs on 19 March 2011.

Stadiums


The Cheetahs' home stadium is the Free State Stadium , previously referred to as Vodacom Park for sponsorship purposes, located in Bloemfontein . The stadium had its capacity increased to 48,000 for the 2010 FIFA World Cup . The stadium is the home of Free State rugby as it is also home to the Free State Cheetahs , a Currie Cup side which produces a large number of players for the Cheetahs franchise. A then-capacity crowd of 37,383 watched the Cheetahs in their first official Super 14 match against the Bulls on 10 February 2006.The Cheetahs also previously played matches at Griquas Park in Kimberley, the home of the Griqualand West Rugby Union, and at North West Stadium in Welkom , the home of the Griffons Rugby Union.

Season standings


Season Pos Pld W D L F A +/- BP Pts Comments
1997 7th 11 5 0 6 301 327 -26 5 25 -
2006 10th 13 5 0 8 272 367 -95 7 27 -
2007 11th 13 4 1 8 265 342 -77 4 22 -
2008 13th 13 1 0 12 255 428 -173 9 13 -
2009 14th 13 2 0 11 213 341 -128 4 12 -
2010 10th 13 5 1 7 316 393 -77 4 26 -
2011 11th 16 5 0 11 435 437 -2 12 40 -
2012 10th 16 5 0 11 391 458 -67 10 38 -
2013 6th 16 10 0 6 382 358 +24 6 54 Lost in Qualifiers
2014 14th 16 4 1 11 372 527 −155 6 24
2015 12th 16 5 0 11 357 531 −174 6 26

Current squad


The Cheetahs announced the following wider group for the 2016 Super Rugby season :
Cheetahs Super Rugby squad
Props
  • Aranos Coetzee
  • Luan de Bruin
  • Charles Marais
  • Danie Mienie
  • Ox Nché
  • Teunis Nieuwoudt
  • BG Uys
  • Maks van Dyk
  • Hookers
  • Jacques du Toit
  • Joseph Dweba
  • Elandré Huggett
  • Neil Rautenbach
  • Torsten van Jaarsveld
  • Locks
  • Justin Basson
  • Lood de Jager
  • Reniel Hugo
  • Armandt Koster
  • Boela Serfontein
  • Francois Uys
  • Dennis Visser
  • Carl Wegner
  • Loose Forwards
  • Willie Britz
  • Tienie Burger
  • Uzair Cassiem
  • Niell Jordaan
  • Hilton Lobberts
  • Steven Meiring
  • Oupa Mohojé
  • Gerhard Olivier
  • Boom Prinsloo
  • Paul Schoeman
  • Henco Venter
  • Scrum-halves
  • Tian Meyer
  • Zee Mkhabela
  • JP Smith
  • Ruan van Rensburg
  • Shaun Venter
  • Fly-halves
  • Sias Ebersohn
  • Niel Marais
  • George Whitehead
  • Fred Zeilinga
  • Centres
  • Rayno Benjamin
  • Joubert Engelbrecht
  • Reinhardt Erwee
  • Tertius Kruger
  • Nico Lee
  • William Small-Smith
  • Michael van der Spuy
  • Francois Venter (c)
  • Wingers
  • Maphutha Dolo
  • Gerrie Labuschagné
  • Sergeal Petersen
  • Raymond Rhule
  • Fullbacks
  • Clayton Blommetjies
  • Coenie van Wyk
  • (c) Denotes team captain and Bold denotes internationally capped.

    Coaches


  • Rassie Erasmus (2006-07)
  • Naka Drotske (2008-15)
  • Franco Smith (2016-)
  • Captains


  • Juan Smith (2006-11)
  • Adriaan Strauss (2012-14)
  • Francois Uys (2015)
  • Francois Venter (2016-)