Cheetahs unleash star Bok on Lions
Cheetahs unleash star Bok on LionsSHARE
The Cheetahs will welcome back star Springbok Willie le Roux when they take on the Lions in the opening round of the Super Rugby competition.
Le Roux, who was put on ice after injuring his shoulder in the first pre-season match, has returned to training and will most likely wear the No.15 jersey when the Lions arrive in Bloemfontein on Saturday.
Cheetahs assistant coach Hawies Fourie told this website that they will have an almost full squad to select from – the exception being Springbok loose forward Heinrich Brussow, who will miss the opening rounds as a result of the foot injury he suffered while playing in Japan.
With no injury concerns from their pre-season build-up, the Cheetahs won't be departing too far from the side which started in most of the warm-up games.
The most likely change could be at fullback.
"Willie [le Roux] is 100 percent and he trained with the team today [Monday]," Fourie told this website.
"He had no discomfort in the shoulder [which was injured in the first pre-season outing against Shimlas] and he is ready to play."
Fourie said they were very happy with their pre-season build-up.
"We made progress throughout [the pre-season] and took strides forward," he said, adding: "The combinations started to settle and I am confident we are on the right track."
The one selection poser could be at scrumhalf, with Kevin Luiters and Shaun Venter fighting to be back-up for Sarel Pretorius.
Venter could have a slight edge over Luiters and showed no signs of the pre-season injury when he played against the Pumas.
Cheetahs – possible: 15 Willie le Roux, 14 Cornal Hendricks, 13 Johann Sadie, 12 Francois Venter, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Johan Goosen, 9 Sarel Pretorius, 8 Philip van der Walt, 7 Pieter Labuschagné, 6 Jean Cook, 5 Lodewyk de Jager, 4 Francois Uys, 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Adriaan Strauss (captain), 1 Trevor Nyakane.
Replacements: 16 Ryno Barnes, 17 Caylib Oosthuizen, 18 Nicolaas van Dyk, 19 Rynhardt Landman, 20 Johannes Prinsloo, 21 Shaun Venter, 22 Elgar Watts, 23 Rayno Benjamin.
By Jan de Koning