FNB Varsity Cup
FNB UFS Shimlas flyhalf George Lourens is one step closer to living his childhood dream after signing a contract with the Cheetahs.
The 24-year-old backline marshal is one of three players from Shimlas on the Cheetahs' radar, and the first to put pen to paper.
Lourens matriculated at Paarl Gymnasium and started his FNB Varsity Cup journey at FNB Maties, before making the move to Bloemfontein in order to play in the tournament for one more year.
He has been a revelation at Shimlas and his contribution on the field has played a big role in the Free Staters securing a home semi-final against FNB UP-Tuks on Monday night.
According to Cheetahs director of rugby Hawies Fourie, the attack-minded pivot has matured a lot since his days in Stellenbosch. When Lourens first started out at Maties he worked with Fourie, who was still the coach back then.
While Lourens will no doubt be last in the pecking order behind the in-form Siya Masuku and Reinhardt Fortuin at the Cheetahs, he cannot ask for a better learning school thanks to Ruan Pienaar and Frans Steyn training or playing on either side of him.
However, Lourens' attention remains firmly with FNB UFS Shimlas until the end of the current FNB Varsity Cup.
'I'm very happy to be joining the Cheetahs,' said Lourens. 'My focus will turn to the Cheetahs as soon as the Varsity Cup ends. We really want to win this Varsity Cup. On the Tuesday after the possible final, I will start focusing on the Cheetahs.'
One thing is for sure, Lourens’ natural attacking brand of rugby and his sevens skills will see him slot in seamlessly at the Cheetahs.
Monday night's eagerly anticipated semi-final between FNB UFS Shimlas and FNB UP-Tuks at Shimla Park will kick off at 19:00 (SuperSport channel 211).
By Morgan Piek
Photo: Hannes Naude/Varsity Cup