Cheetahs name 13 'debutants' for trip to Kimberley
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Cheetahs coach Hawies Fourie has named a team with 13 players that will make their Currie Cup debut for the Bloemfontein outfit, against Griquas in Kimberley on Saturday.
The Cheetahs, who had a bye in Round One, has had a disrupted build-up to the season – including a number of positive COVID-19 tests the past fortnight.
They also have a number of key players out through injury – including Junior Pokomela (wrist), Teboho Mohojé (calf), Chris Smit (calf), Craig Barry (hamstring), Malcolm Jaer (hamstring), Andisa Ntsila (hamstring) and Marcell Muller (hamstring).
Conraad van Vuuren is also serving the last match of a foul-play ban.
It will be a massive baptism of fire for the bulk of the team.
Some of the 13 players who will make their first Currie Cup appearance for the Cheetahs have featured for other provinces.
This includes utility forwards like Springbok Jacques Potgieter and Jean Droste, lock Victor Sekekete and centre Howard Mnisi.
The team also shows a number of changes from that which lost 19-23 to Griquas in a pre-season outing in Kimberley.
Tian Meyer, who is also an accomplished scrumhalf, starts on the left win in place of Cohen Jasper, who drops down to the replacements bench – where he will provide cover for the back three positions.
Gideon van Wyk starts at No.8 in place of Jeandré Rudolph, Jacques Potgieter starts on the flank in place of Aidon Davis, Jean Droste is on the other flank in place of Andisa Ntsila, Rynier Bernardo replaces Derik Pretorius at lock and Victor Sekekete comes in at lock to fill the gap created by Potgieter’s move to the flank.
Wilmar Arnoldi starts at hooker in place of Marnus van der Merwe.
Cheetahs: 15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Duncan Saal, 13 Evardi Boshoff, 12 Howard Mnisi, 11 Tian Meyer, 10 Reinhardt Fortuin, 9 Ruan Pienaar (captain), 8 Gideon van Wyk, 7 Jacques Potgieter, 6 Jean Droste, 5 Rynier Bernardo, 4 Victor Sekekete, 3 Aranos Coetzee, 2 Wilmar Arnoldi, 1 Cameron Dawson.
Replacements: 16 Janus Venter, 17 Aluluthu Tshakweni, 18 Hencus van Wyk, 19 Reinier Viljoen, 20 Luan Potgieter, 21 Mihlali Mosi, 22 David Brits, 23 Cohen Jasper.
Date: Saturday, June 26
Venue: Griqua Park, Kimberley
Kick-off: 13.00 (11.00 GMT)
Referee: AJ Jacobs
Assistant referees: Local
TMO: Cwengile Jadezweni