Cheetahs confirm Hugo return

Lock Reniel Hugo says he is ready to make the most of the opportunity he has to play for the Cheetahs again.

On Tuesday, Cheetahs confirmed that Hugo will be returning to the club for a second stint following two years of playing for Toyota Verblitz in Japan.

Speaking about his decision to rejoin his former team, Hugo explained he felt it’s time to come back home and that the Cheetahs were the perfect fit for him.

“I am looking forward to coming back to the Cheetahs. I had some fond memories while I was there in Bloemfontein,” Hugo said in a statement yesterday.

‘I am excited to be joining up with the team again and playing in the PRO14. I’m loooking forward to this new challenge and chapter in my life. I’m excited to get going and hopefully, we can get to playing rugby again, sooner rather than later. It is also going to be nice to work with Hawies Fourie, Corniel van Zyl and the rest of the guys,” he noted.

The 29-year-old lock left the Toyota Cheetahs in 2018 to join Japanese Top League club Toyota Verblitz but enjoyed limited game time at the team.

Hugo won the Currie Cup with the Toyota Free State Cheetahs and was one of the leading players during the team’s inaugural Guinness PRO14 season.

The star played his Western Province at age-group level, and following school, he represented both the University of Stellenbosch Maties and the University of Pretoria Tuks in the Varsity Cup from 2010 to 2015.

He has also represented both Western Province and the Blue Bulls at senior level.

Hugo previously joined the Free State in 2015 and represented the team in various competitions.

He says he is all too happy to return to Bloemfontein and he looks forward to playing alongside Carl Wegner again.

“It’s going to be nice to play with Carl. We formed a close bond over the years. When we were playing in Japan, we spoke about it being nice if we were able to play together again in South Africa, and now there is another chance for us.”

Hugo will report for duty at the Toyota Cheetahs on July 1 for a two-year contract.

By: Thapelo Molebatsi