Cheetahs coach Naka Drotske has named his side to take on the Chiefs in Hamilton on Saturday. The team shows a number of injury-enforced changes to the one that was thrashed 50-26 by the Blues last weekend.
Former Boland flyer (and accidental Springbok tourist) Jongi Nokwe comes in for the injured Gavin Passens on the left wing. The 26-year-old winger has been on the fringes of selection for the Stormers team for years, finally deciding to cast in is lot with the Central franchise at the end of last year. He is blindingly quick, but at 1.80m and 83kg will have a busy day in trying to control Sivivatu and his friends. Eddie Fredericks and the impressive Hennie Daniller retain their spots at 14 and 15 respectively.
The centre pairing of JW Jonker and Meyer Bosman will look to continue to develop their partnership; one that looked better on attack than it did on defence last week. Former Sharks and Griquas journeyman Conrad Barnard will start in the all-important flyhalf position, following an injury to up-and-coming sensation Jacques-Louis Potgieter. Barnard last started a Super rugby match in 2005 and has flattered to deceive at this level. His partner is the irascible Noel “Falie” Oelschig.
Further changes in the pack see lock-cum-flanker Darron Nell take over from inspirational skipper Juan Smith in the number 7 shirt. Smith is out for 4 weeks with a knee injury, meaning lock Rory Duncan will assume the captaincy for this fixture (as well as the entire tour). Returning in the number 5 is lineout specialist Barend “Luftwaffe” Pieterse, meaning a return to the bench for Dawid de Villiers. The balance of the pack is unchanged as Vermeulen, Brüssow, Calldo, Adriaan Strauss and du Preez hang on to their spots.
Kabamba Floors is yet another injury casualty, so his place on the bench goes to Bok Hendro Scholtz this week. Former Leopard and Sharks Currie Cup prop Ronnie Uys will also look to make his super rugby debut in the number 17 shirt. Regular scrumhalf replacement Tewis de Bruyn will cover the flyhalf position.
Here is the team:
15 Daniller, 14 Fredericks, 13 Jonker, 12 Bosman, 11 Nokwe, 10 Barnard, 9 Oelschig, 8 Vermeulen, 7 Nell, 6 Brüssow, 5 Pieterse, 4 Duncan (capt), 3 Calldo, 2 A Strauss, 1 du Preez
16 R Strauss, 17 Uys, 18 de Villiers, 19 Scholtz, 20 Botes, 21 de Bruyn, 22 Meyer