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Cheetahs retain Pienaar at 10 for clash with Force

TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Ruan Pienaar resumes his role at flyhalf for the Cheetahs when they face the Western Force for the first of their four Challenge Series games in Bloemfontein on Friday night.


Cheetahs coach Hawies Fourie has retained eleven players that formed part of the Currie Cup final that will face the Force this weekend, including the veteran Pienaar as general.

Fourie moved Pienaar from scrumhalf to flyhalf halfway through the Currie Cup due to injuries.

It had such a profound effect on the side that they won the Currie Cup that Fourie is content to back the Springbok at 10.

The Cheetahs coach believes the Challenge Series is good preparation for their participation in the 2023/24 EPCR Challenge Cup.

The team from Bloemfontein, that reached the knockout stage of last season’s Challenge Cup before losing to eventual winners Toulon, together with Georgia’s Black Lion, accepted invitations to compete in the Challenge Cup again.

The Cheetahs will face Oyonnax, Section Paloise, Sharks and Zebre Parma in Pool 1 with Amsterdam in the Netherlands as their agreed ‘home’ base when pitted against European opponents.


Their pool stage match against the Sharks will be played in either Bloemfontein or Durban depending on the outcome of the current fixture scheduling process.

*The 2023 Challenge Series will again boast a total prize money of R1 million, with R250 000 awarded for each match. This significant prize money not only adds to the intensity of the competition but also recognises the outstanding efforts of the teams.

Cheetahs: 15 Tapiwa Mafura, 14 Cohen Jasper, 13 Evardi Boshoff, 12 Robert Ebersohn, 11 Litha Nkula, 10 Ruan Pienaar, 9 Rewan Kruger, 8 Friedle Olivier, 7 Sibabalo Qoma, 6 Gideon van der Merwe, 5 Victor Sekekete (captain), 4 Rynier Bernardo, 3 Hencus van Wyk, 2 Marnus van der Merwe, 1 Alulutho Tshakweni.
Replacements: 16 Marko Janse van Rensburg, 17 Schalk Ferreira, 18 Dayan van der Westhuizen, 19 Mzwanele Zito, 20 Daniel Maartens, 21 Jeandrẻ Rudolph, 22 George Lourens, 23 David Brits

Date: Friday, August 24
Venue: Bloemfontein Stadium
Kick: 17:00
Referee: Morne Ferreira
Assistant referees: Paul Mente, Griffin Colby
TMO: Quinton Immelman.


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