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Cheetahs v Lions: Is It Time to Revive the Cats in the URC?

A great weekend of Currie Cup action is in store, with the Cheetahs hosting the Lions in the headline act at the Toyota Stadium in Bloemfontein on Saturday afternoon (kick-off 5pm).

It’s a very interesting match-up, with the second on the log Cheetahs being the tournament favourites, expected to have far too much firepower for a relatively young Lions team, which has, however, received a few URC backups to strengthen their team.

With the Lions struggling in the URC and the Cheetahs being removed from the tournament ahead of the last edition, the game will raise a number of questions for both teams about where to go next.

While it didn’t work the first time with the Cats in Super Rugby, it has been brought up again to merge the two sides for the URC.

Another option is for the Cheetahs players to be loaned to the Lions for the URC campaign, but that wouldn’t really benefit the union and would only weaken them for the Currie Cup competition.

Whatever is decided, it seems a complete waste that players like Frans Steyn, Rosko Specman and Ruan Pienaar are not playing in the URC and the SA Rugby Union has to find a long-term solution.

So the Cheetahs will be happy to knock that point home against the Lions this weekend and the visitors will have to fire all the cylinders if they want to take on a challenge against the home side.

Another tempting showdown is as the third-seeded Bulls travel to Kimberley to face fourth-seeded Griquas in what should be an entertaining encounter on Saturday afternoon (kick-off at 2.30pm).

The Bulls have had no qualms about throwing their URC stars into the Currie Cup and they will again name a strong team to take on the Griquas, but the hosts have been in excellent form in the Currie Cup this season and have every chance of pulling a disturbance on their own grounds.

In the other game, the Sharks travel to Mbombela to face the Pumas on Friday night (7pm kick-off), with the in-form table toppers expected to comfortably beat the hosts.

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