Naka Drotske has shuffled his side ahead of this weekend’s Super Rugby derby against the Stormers with a number players demoted following poor performances against the Bulls.
The pack has been overhauled less severely than the back-line, with WP Nel and Justin Downey promoted to the starting line-up at the expense of Marcel van der Merwe and Ashley Johnson respectively. Downey will start for the first time in the number 8 jersey, although Drotske has said that he will rotate roles with Heinrich Brussow during the course of the match.
Rob Ebersohn is the only survivor in a three-quarter line that was woeful at times against the Bulls; Andries Strauss, Rocco Jansen and Philip Snyman have all been given their marching orders this week. Former Griquas centre Barry Geel comes in to partner Ebersohn in midfield, with Nico Scheepers and Cameron Jacobs set to start on the wing.
Andries Ferreira is a fitness concern and will need to be cleared later today – if he’s not fit, George Earle will start at lock with Waltie Vermeulen coming onto the bench.
Cheetahs: 15 Willie le Roux, 14 Nico Scheepers, 13 Robert Ebersohn, 12 Barry Geel, 11 Cameron Jacobs, 10 Riaan Smit, 9 Pieter van Zyl, 8 Justin Downey, 7 Lappies Labuschagné, 6 Heinrich Brüssow, 5 Izak van der Westhuizen, 4 Andries Ferreira/George Earle, 3 WP Nel, 2 Adriaan Strauss (capt), 1 Trevor Nyakane.
Replacements: 16 Hercu Liebenberg, 17 Marcel van der Merwe, 18 George Earle/Waltie Vermeulen, 19 Ashley Johnson, 20 Tewis de Bruyn, 21 Sias Ebersohn, 22 Philip Snyman.