Kabamba Floors has been named to start on the wing for the defending champion Vodacom Free State Cheetahs when they face the Sharks in an ABSA Currie Cup match in Durban on Saturday afternoon.
“We’ve been struggling with injuries over the past few days,” said team manager Helgard Muller. “Wilton Pietersen, Fabian Juries and Jongi Nokwe are all injured.”
Zelim Nel writes for SuperRugby that injuries have forced coach Naka Drotske to affect two changes to the team that went down 35-17 against Western Province in Bloemfontein last week, with Floors making his first start on the left wing in place of his former SA Sevens team-mate Juries, and Eddie Fredericks coming in for Pietersen.
“Wilton Pietersen’s injury is very serious, he tore cruciate ligaments in his knee and he probably won’t be back until March next year.”
Still limping from their first home defeat in two years of Currie Cup competition, the Cheetahs must pick themselves up to face the first-placed Sharks in Durban.
“We know we’re in for a big one, especially since we’re still trying to get a team together. But we’re looking forward to it, even though it may be a bit like the Chihuahua taking on a bulldog,” said Muller.
The defending champions find themselves in third place, three points behind the Blue Bulls and just one ahead of the Xerox Lions. The Bulls and Lions are clear favourites to overpower the Kavaliers and Griquas respectively, and the Cheetahs will realise that their failure to beat the Sharks could see them swept aside with just three rounds remaining.
Though it has been said that a wild cat is most dangerous when it’s wounded and cornered.
Cheetahs: 15-Bevin Fortuin, 14-Eddie Fredericks, 13-Robert Ebersohn, 12-Meyer Bosman, 11-Kabamba Floors, 10-Tewis de Bruyn, 9-Neil Powell, 8-Duanne Vermeulen, 7-Juan Smith (capt), 6-Hendro Scholtz, 5-Barend Pieterse, 4-David de Villiers, 3-Kobus Calldo, 2-Adriaan Strauss, 1-Wian du Preez.
Replacements: 16-Richardt Strauss, 17-Coenie Oosthuizen Grey 3, 18-Nico Breedt, 19-Heinrich Brussow, 20-Jacques-Louis Potgieter, 21-JW Jonker, 22-Hendrik Meyer.