Cheetahs coach Naka Drotske has predictably included Sias Ebersohn as starting flyhalf as the most significant of a number of changes to the side that beat Griquas in Kimberley last week. The Free State outfit play the Sharks in Durban in the Currie Cup this weekend.
The late and somewhat unexpected inclusion of youngster Johan Goosen in the Bok squad yesterday has forced the coach’s hand and it’s not an ideal situation for him to have to change flyhalves for the second time in two weeks, Goosen himself having just returned to the side a week ago after a four-month injury lay-off. Ebersohn, who will join the Western Force for Super Rugby next year, has fallen out of favour in Bloemfontein and was only promoted to the starting line up after a season-ending injury to Riaan Smit.
In other changes, prop Schalk van der Merwe comes in to replace the injured Trevor Nyakane, who is also out for the season with a hand injury. Former Lions and Boland man Ross Geldenhuys has been named on the bench to cover the front row, as have Waltie Vermeulen and Phillip Snyman. In the final change to the run-on side, winger Nico Scheepers moves into the number 14 jersey, swapping places with Ryno Benjamin, who will be in 22 this week,
Free State Cheetahs: 15 Hennie Daniller, 14 Nico Scheepers, 13 Robert Ebersohn (captain), 12 Barry Geel, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Sias Ebersohn, 9 Sarel Pretorius, 8 Lucas Floors, 7 Pieter Labuschagne, 6 Frans Viljoen, 5 Izak van der Westhuizen, 4 Andries Ferreira, 3 Marcel van der Merwe, 2 Hercu Liebenberg, 1 Schalk van der Merwe.
Replacements: 16 Elandré Huggett, 17 Ross Geldenhuys, 18 Waltie Vermeulen, 19 Davon Raubenheimer, 20 Tewis de Bruyn, 21 Phillip Snyman, 22 Ryno Benjamin.