Valke captain Hanno Coetzee will lead his team from the flyhalf berth when they meet Western Province at Newlands on Saturday with lock Marius Coetzer packing down on the side of the scrum.
SuperRugby reports that the Valke will field a experimental combination against the star-studded WP with both flyhalf Len Olivier and fullback Johan Jackson joining centre Rouan Cloete on the injury list. The side shows six changes and two position switches from last weekend.
Jackson tweaked a hamstring at Tuesday’s training and Olivier will sit out for at least three weeks with a foot injury.
Olivier is leaving the Valke at the end of the season to join the Sharks and scrumhalf Gerrie Odendaal has signed a contract with the Cheetahs.
There is also talk that tighthead prop Nico Pretorius has signed a deal with French club Biarritz for next season.
Coetzee could be the ideal foil at 10 with Rudy Joubert’s game-plan in mind, but it results in a new midfield combination. Showan Smith will get his first start at inside centre and Nicky Kritzinger will once again start at 15.
At this stage it seems that Luvo Sogidashe will replace Johan Schwartz on the left wing.
Coetzer’s move to seven will beef up the pack and increase the lineout options with Wouter Moore and Ruhan van Jaarsveld in the second row.
The new tighthead prop is strongman Dirk Smit, who will replace the injured Pretorius. Smit’s brother Bertus anchored the Lions scrum a season or two ago.
The fiery Jody Jeneker has also regained his place in the scrum to provide the spark that lacked in the drubbing at the hands of the Lions.Tweet