Cheetahs rocked by new rash of injuries
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENTS: The Cheetahs’ Currie Cup season will finish like it started – ravaged by setbacks.
Coach Hawies Fourie confirmed on Friday that he was forced into a rash of changes ahead of their trip to Pretoria.
The Cheetahs will face the table-topping Bulls in a Round 14 encounter at Loftus Versfeld, the last league match of the season.
With the Cheetahs already out of the running for the play-offs, this is their last chance to impress.
Junior Pokomela and Cameron Dawson have been ruled out due to illness, Andisa Ntsila is struggling with a shoulder complaint and Clayton Blommetjies has been ruled out with an ankle injury.
To make matters worse Brandon Thomson injured his ankle in training on Thursday.
The team shows eight changes from that which lost 19-28 to the Pumas in Nelspruit last week.
Cohen Jasper comes in at fullback for the injured Blommetjies, Evardi Boshoff is at outside centre for David Brits, Reinhardt Fortuin returns at flyhalf and captain Ruan Pienaar moves from No.10 to his regular position of scrumhalf.
Up front, Aidon Davis starts on the flank in place of the injured Pokomela, Louis van der Westhuizen is at hooker in place of Marnus van der Merwe and Schalk Ferreira starts at loosehead prop in place of Dawson.
“We wanted to finish the season on a high, so these injuries are a massive blow,” Fourie said.
“We needed to be at full strength to face a team like the Bulls, but this is the story of our season.
“We have become accustomed to these setbacks throughout the season.”
Cheetahs: 15 Cohen Jasper, 14 Duncan Saal, 13 Evardi Boshoff, 12 Siya Masuku, 11 Malcolm Jaer, 10 Reinhardt Fortuin, 9 Ruan Pienaar (captain), 8 Mihlali Mosi, 7 Aidon Davis, 6 Marnus van der Merwe, 5 Victor Sekekete, 4 Rynier Bernardo, 3 Aranos Coetzee, 2 Louis van der Westhuizen, 1 Schalk Ferreira.
Replacements: 16 Wilmar Arnoldi, 17 Hencus van Wyk, 18 Conraad van Vuuren, 19 Reinier Viljoen, 20 Teboho Mohoje, 21 Tian Meyer, 22 David Brits, 23 Chris Smit.
Date: Saturday, August 28
Venue: Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
Kick-off: 16.45 (14.45 GMT)
Referee: AJ Jacobs
Assistant referees: Johre Botha, local appointment
TMO: Quinton Immelman