The Cheetahs suffered another setback when it was revealed that highly-rated centre Johann Sadie is heading to Japan.
According to a report on the Supersport website, Sadie will join the NTT Docomo Red Hurricanes, which also has Heinrich BrÃ¼ssow and Riaan Viljoen in their ranks.
Sadie's agent Hilton Houghton hasn't confirmed the move yet, but is expected to do so soon.
It is believed that Sadie will return to play for the Cheetahs in the 2015 Super Rugby competition - something which several other Japan-bound South African players are doing.
Sadie has been playing well despite the Cheetahs' poor Super Rugby and, although his departure is in his financial interest, he will be the ninth player to leave the Bloemfontein-based franchise.
First-choice fly-half Johan Goosen is off to Top 14 outfit Racing Metro while number eight Phillip van der Walt is joining Biarritz, who have been relegated to France's Pro D2 division next season.
Other players who have confirmed that they will be leaving the Cheetahs include: Riaan Smit(Oyonnax), Hennie Daniller, Andries Ferreira (both Zebre) (Zebre), Rynard Landman (Dragons), Nick Schonert (Worcester Warriors) and Kevin Luiters (EP Kings).