Fourteen changes for Cheetahs
The defending Currie Cup champion Cheetahs face the Golden Lions in a decisive Round 14 match at Ellis Park in Johannesburg on Saturday – a game that is effectively a straight shoot-out between the two teams for a place in the semifinals.
With the Pro14 on a two-week European break, the Cheetahs stuck to their stated objective to keep the Currie Cup in the Free State.
As a result the team to travel to Johannesburg shows 14 changes to the starting XV from that which lost to the Blue Bulls in a 100-point thriller on Pretoria last Friday.
The most noticeable absentees from the regular Pro14 squad are utility back Sergeal Petersen and centre Francois Venter (the regular captain).
Venter is one of several players carrying minor niggles, while Petersen played his last game for the Cheetahs last Friday.
Free State Cheetahs: 15 Raymond Rhule, 14 Rosko Specman, 13 Nico Lee, 12 William Small-Smith, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Ernst Stapelberg, 9 Tian Meyer, 8 Teboho Mohoje, 7 Henco Venter, 6 Paul Schoeman, 5 Reniel Hugo, 4 Justin Basson, 3 Johan Coetzee, 2 Torsten van Jaarsveld (captain), 1 Charles Marais.
Replacements: 16 Retshegofaditswe Nche, 17 Jacques du Toit, 18 Rynier Bernardo, 19 Junior Pokomela, 20 Shaun Venter, 21 Ali Mgijima, 22 Luther Obi.
Date: Saturday, October 14
Venue: Ellis Park, Johannesburg
Kick-off: 17.15 (15.15 GMT)
Referee: Rasta Rasivhenge
Assistant referees: AJ Jacobs, Stephan Geldenhuys
TMO: Johan Greeff