Cheetahs lean on veteran Boks for season-opener
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: The Cheetahs have gone ‘experience heavy’ for their opening match in the 2022 Currie Cup season.
They host Griquas in Bloemfontein on Saturday in a season that starts much earlier than ever before.
Veteran Springboks Ruan Pienaar and Frans Steyn headlined the team.
Pienaar leads the team, after returning from a loan stint with the Sharks in Durban.
The two-time World Cup winner Frans Steyn will start at inside centre in a backline that also features Clayton Blommetjies at fullback and Chris Smit at flyhalf.
The Cheetahs, despite the team’s settled look, also have a number of players on the injury list.
Those not available due to injury include Jeandré Rudolph (knee), George Cronje (knee), Duncan Saal (bicep), Branden de Kock (knee), Rosko Specman (knee), Reinhardt Fortuin (knee), Aranos Coetzee (bicep), Cameron Dawson (ankle), Daniel Kasende (knee), Cohen Jasper (shoulder) and Siya Masuku (return to play protocol).
Cheetahs: 15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Craig Barry, 13 David Brits, 12 Frans Steyn, 11 Enver Brandt, 10 Chris Smit, 9 Ruan Pienaar (captain), 8 Mihlali Mosi, 7 Aidon Davis, 6 Gideon van der Merwe, 5 Victor Sekekete, 4 Rynier Bernardo, 3 Marné Coetzee, 2 Marnus van der Merwe, 1 Schalk Ferreira.
Replacements: 16 Louis van der Westhuizen, 17 Alulutho Tshakweni, 18 Conraad van Vuuren, 19 Sergio Moreira, 20 Andisa Ntsila, 21 Rewan Kruger, 22 Robert Ebersohn, 23 Malcolm Jaer.
Date: Saturday, January 15
Venue: Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein
Kick-off: 14.30 (12.30 GMT)
Referee: Jaco Peyper
Assistant referees: Griffin Colby and Clearance Khumalo
TMO: Ben Crouse