Cheetahs flyhalf Fred Zeilinga is set to join Allister Coetzee's Canon Eagles in Japan. Photo: Toyota Cheetahs

BLOEMFONTEIN – Cheetahs flyhalf Fred Zeilinga is set to join Allister Coetzee's Canon Eagles in Japan.

Coetzee was removed from his post as Bok coach earlier this year, and has quickly moved into a new role with the Eagles, where he will have his work cut out for him after the club managed just four wins from 13 games in the last season of Japan's Top League.

It's believed that Coetzee has identified Zeilinga as a player who could add value to the Eagles' squad, with the experienced flyhalf set to make the move to Japan on a two-season deal.

Although it has been reported that the 25-year-old was keen to return to play for the Cheetahs after a stint in Japan, there has yet to be confirmation of this deal. It's also understood that Cheetahs boss Franco Smith is an advocate of having such players ply their trade solely in South Africa.

Zeilinga's expected move comes on the back of Johan Goosen's recent return to the Cheetahs, with the former Springbok utility back set to spend the next couple of months with the Free State side before joining French club Montpellier.

Goosen will bolster the Cheetahs' flyhalf options for the remainder of the Pro14, while former Bulls scrumhalf, Rudy Paige, has also joined the Bloemfontein-based side on a three-month loan deal.

Despite these two squad additions, there is no doubt that the Cheetahs will miss the presence of Zeilinga, who has been a regular starter ever since making the move to Bloemfontein from the Durban-based Sharks in 2015. 

African News Agency (ANA)


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