The Cheetahs have lost lock Walti Vermeulen to a dental injury ahead of friday’s Currie Cup clash with the Sharks; further, coach Naka Drotske has reacted to an inconsistent scrum showing at Newlands on Saturday by dropping two of the three props that took part from his match 22.
Jon-Roy Jenkinson, who started at tighthead against Western Province, has faced the music, with discarded Bok Trevor Nyakane coming into the number 3 jersey. Caylib Oosthuizen stays in the side at loosehead, but reserve prop Wian du Preez has also been dumped, in favour of former Bulls youngster Rossouw de Klerk. Lood de Jager moves from 4 to 5 this week, with Teboho Mahoje earning a first start alongside him. 21-year old Freddie Ngoza steps up from the Shimlas ranks to cover the second row from the bench.
The backs are unchanged this week, apart from the inclusion of Junior Springbok Kevin Luiters on the bench, at the expense of Argentina-bound Piet van Zyl.
Free State Cheetahs: 15 Hennie Daniller, 14 Riaan Smit, 13 Johann Sadie, 12 Robert Ebersohn, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Elgar Watts, 9 Sarel Pretorius, 8 Philip van der Walt, 7 Pieter Labuschagne, 6 Johannes Prinsloo (captain), 5 Lodewyk de Jager, 4 Teboho Mohoje, 3 Trevor Nyakane, 2 Hercu Liebenberg, 1 Caylib Oosthuizen.
Replacements: 16 Ethienne Reynecke, 17 Rossouw de Klerk, 18 Freddie Ngoza, 19 Davon Raubenheimer, 20 Kevin Luiters, 21 Willie du Plessis, 22 Piet Lindeque/Joubert Engelbrecht.