Prop CJ van der Linde is desperate to steer clear of injuries this season to boost his chances of making South Africa's World Cup squad.
The 26-year-old, who can bench-press 190kg, has been a regular visitor to the gym in the off-season and believes he is fitter than he has ever been.
"For the first time in a long while I have been injury-free for more than three months," Van der Linde, who scored a magnificent try against England at Twickenham in November, told Die Volksblad.
"I had time during the Currie Cup competition to work really hard in the gym. Things are falling into place nicely and because it's a World Cup year, I'm hoping the injuries will stay away."
Van der Linde scored two tries in the Cheetahs' 79-14 demolition of Samoa at the weekend, and hopes to do the same when he faces a regional outfit in the team's second pre-season game this weekend in Welkom.
Springbok Sevens flyers Ryno Benjamin and Jonathan Mokuena will both be handed starting berths, with several fringe players challenged to stake their claims.