Baby Bok winger Raymond Rhule has been handed a surprising Currie Cup start for the Cheetahs this weekend, with the 19-year-old named in the number 11 jersey. Naka Drotske’s team get their campaign under way when they face the Lions in Johannesburg on Saturday.
Rob Ebersohn will captain the side for the first time, from the outside centre position, despite the presence of Andries Strauss (who has far more captaincy experience) on his inside. Riaan Smit carries on where he left off at the end of the Super Rugby campaign, named at flyhalf, while Marcel van der Merwe has come in at tight head for the Edinburgh-bound WP Nel.
The Cheetahs team is as follows:
15 Hennie Daniller, 14 Nico Scheepers, 13 Rob Ebersohn (capt), 12 Andries Strauss, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Riaan Smit, 9 Piet van Zyl, 8 Davon Raubenheimer, 7 Pieter Labuschagne, 6 Boom Prinsloo, 5 Izak van der Westhuizen, 4 Waltie Vermeulen, 3 Marcel van der Merwe, 2 Hercu Liebenberg, 1 Trevor Nyakane
16 Elandre Huggett, 17 Schalk van der Merwe, 18 Francois Uys, 19 Kabamba Floors, 20 Sarel Pretorius, 21 Sias Ebersohn, 22 Philip Snyman