The Cheetahs side to take on the Pumas in a Super rugby warm up match this weekend has been named, with Naka Drotske giving some strong clues as to how his likely first-choice combination will look. One man whose star continues to rise is former Sharks under 21 tighthead prop, Nicolaas “Maks” van Dyk, who now appears a near certainty for a Super Rugby debut against the Lions in a fortnight.
There’s definitely a bun fight on the cards when it comes to the available prop positions in the Cheetahs squad, with a fair bit of off-season shopping having greatly increased Drotske’s options. With Coenie Oosthuizen firmly ensconced as the starting tighthead, the number 1 jersey appears not to be quite as clear cut; Caylib Oosthuizen will start at loosehead in this match, relegating Bok Trevor Nyakane to the bench.
Hennie Daniller continues at fullback as understudy to Willie le Roux, whose dicey shoulder will keep him out of pre-season action entirely, while former Sevens man Cornal Hendricks seems to have sewn up the right wing position with some good play in the previous warm-ups. Shaun Venter starts at scrumhalf, with the still-recuperating Sarel Pretorius set for his first run of the new season off the bench.
Cheetahs: 15 Hennie Daniller, 14 Cornal Hendricks, 13 Johann Sadie, 12 Francois Venter, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Johan Goosen, 9 Shaun Venter, 8 Philip van der Walt, 7 Lappies Labuschagne, 6 Jean Cook, 5 Francois Uys, 4 Lood de Jager, 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Adriaan Strauss (capt), 1 Caylib Oosthuizen.
Subs: 16 Ryno Barnes, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Ligtoring Landman, 19 Boom Prinsloo, 20 Sarel Pretorius, 21 Elgar Watts, 22 Rayno Benjamin, 23 Riaan Smit, 24 Maks van Dyk.