The first of two local games tonight sees the battle of the felines as the Cheetahs host the Lions in the reverse fixture of the opening round match, which the Lions just won. The Cheetahs are back from their overseas tour, racking up 11 points and will go into this match with a lot of confidence.
The Cheetahs coach Naka Drotske has made only one change to his team that beat the Hurricanes last weekend, with Ashley Johnson, the catalyst off the bench last weekend, coming into the starting line-up with Justin Downey dropping to the bench.
The Lions have had their fair share of injury problems, but will start seeing their players return, such as Elton Jantjies who is back in the starting line-up, meaning that Jaco Taute can move back to his preferred position of fullback, with Butch James and Alwyn Hollenbach doing duty in the midfield.
The interesting match ups from a South African point of view will be the loose trio’s of each of the teams, with Josh Strauss leading the Lions’ trio against that of Brussow, Johnson and van der Westhuizen.
Cheetahs: Hennie Daniller, Ryno Benjamin, Robert Ebersohn, Andries Strauss, Willie le Roux, Johan Goosen, Piet van Zyl, Philip van der Walt, Ashley Johnson, Heinrich Brüssow, Izak van der Westhuizen, George Earle, WP Nel, Adriaan Strauss (captain), Coenie Oosthuizen.
Replacements: Hercu Liebenberg, Trevor Nyakane, Andries Ferreira, Justin Downey, Tewis de Bruyn, Sias Ebersohn, Philip Snyman.
Lions: Jaco Taute, Deon van Rensburg, Alwyn Hollenbach, Butch James, Andries Coetzee, Elton Jantjies, Tian Meyer, Joshua Strauss (captain), Derick Minnie, Cobus Grobbelaar, Franco van der Merwe, Paul Willemse, Patric Cilliers, Martin Bezuidenhout, Caylib Oosthuizen.
Replacements: Callie Visagie, Ruan Dreyer, Marius Coetzer, Etienne Oosthuizen, Michael Bondesio, Lionel Mapoe, James Kamana.Tweet