All change for injury-riddled Cheetahs
The Cheetahs were forced into making numerous changes for their Currie Cup crunch encounter with the Sharks in Durban on Saturday.
Prop Luan de Bruin, who took a heavy knock to the mouth and is sidelined with concussion, has been replaced at tighthead by Dolph Botha.
The groin injury that has ruled out Sevens Springbok Johannes Prinsloo has resulted in a revamped loose trio.
Jean Cook moved from flank to No.8, into the spot vacated by Prinsloo's absence, while Neil Claassen will wear the No.7 jersey.
Flyhalf Elgar Watts has been ruled out with a knee injury, which sees Willie du Plessis take over at No.10 – having been dropped to the bench last week, after having been the starting flyhalf in the Round One loss to the Pumas.
"We have been affected by injuries, but we believe we have adequate depth and that we are as strong as possible for the game against the Sharks,"Cheetahs coach Rory Duncan said.
"We know it is going to be tough and we have prepared for it likewise."
The final change to the starting XV sees Clayton Blommetjies in the No.15 jersey, after the import from the Blue Bulls recovered from his injury.
"We are giving AJ Coertzen a rest and have decided to give Clayton a chance at fullback. He has put in the hard yards on the training field and we believe he is ready," the coach said.
"This is a good chance for him to stake a claim as a regular inclusion in the competition."
Free State Cheetahs: 15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Rayno Benjamin, 13 Francois Venter, 12 Joubert Engelbrecht, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Willie du Plessis, 9 Sarel Pretorius, 8 Jean Cook, 7 Neil Claassen, 6 Tienie Burger, 5 Francois Uys, 4 Carl Wegner, 3 Dolph Botha, 2 Torsten van Jaarsveld (captain), 1 Kevin Stevens.
Replacements: 16 Abraham le Roux, 17 George Marich, 18 Henco Venter, 19 Vincent Jobo, 20 Shaun Venter, 21 Pieter-Steyn de Wet, 22 Phillipus du Plessis.
Date: Saturday, August 23
Venue: Kings Park, Durban
Kick-off: 19.10 (17.10 GMT)
Referee: Rasta Rasivhenge
Assistant referees: Marius Jonker, Stefan Breytenbach
TMO: Jason Jaftha