The 29-year-old lock, Reniel Hugo, will be returning to the Toyota Cheetahs following a stint in Japan. Hugo left the Toyota Cheetahs in 2018 to join the 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.
Hugo 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.
Hugo says that he is all too happy to return to Bloemfontein and he looks forward to playing alongside Carl Wegner again. “I am really looking forward to coming back to the Cheetahs. I had some fond memories while I was there in Bloemfontein. I am excited to be joining up with the team again and playing in the PRO14. 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."
“It is also going to be nice to work with Hawies Fourie, Corniel van Zyl and the rest of the guys. Really looking 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.”
Hugo will report for duty at the Toyota Cheetahs on 1 July for a two-year contract.