Matchday 1 of the inaugural Super Rugby Unlocked tournament continues on Saturday with the first sighting of the Cheetahs, who take on the Pumas at the Free State Stadium on Saturday.
Cheetahs vs Pumas: Super Rugby Unlocked preview
The men from Bloemfontein are the reigning Currie Cup champions, and will go into this particular competition with a point to prove in the wake their impending axing from the Pro 14.
They come up against perennial wooden spoonists, who will aim to shake off that tag with many players in their ranks expected to use the competition – which features several Springbok hopefuls – as an opportunity to raise their stock, with the hope of higher honours.
The big news in the Cheetahs camp is double World Cup winner Francois Steyn making his debut for the franchise at centre.
Another Bok veteran in Ruan Pienaar captains the side, with the likes of Rosko Specman and Junior Pokomela among the players to watch on the day.
The Pumas also have some experience to call upon, with the likes of centre Ryan Nell, fullback Devon Williams among the veterans in their starting XV, while new signing Kwanda Dimaza starts at blindside flank alongside fellow debutant Daniel Maartens and Willie Engelbrecht.
Cheetahs: 15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Malcolm Jaer, 13 Benhard Janse van Rensburg, 12 Frans Steyn, 11 Rosko Specman, 10 Tian Schoeman, 9 Ruan Pienaar (capt), 8 Jasper Wiese, 7 Junior Pokomela, 6 Andisa Ntsila, 5 Walt Steenkamp, 4 Carl Wegner, 3 Luan de Bruin, 2 Reinach Venter, 1 Charles Marais.
Replacements: 16 Louis van der Westhuizen, 17 Boan Venter, 18 Erich de Jager, 19 JP du Preez, 20 Chris Massyn, 21 Aidon Davis, 22 Tiaan Meyer, 23 William Small-Smith.
Pumas: 15 Devon Williams, 14 Luther Obi, 13 Wayne van der Bank, 12 Ryan Nell (captain), 11 Neil Maritz, 10 Eddie Fouche, 9 Ginter Smuts, 8 Willie Engelbrecht, 7 Kwanda Dimaza, 6 Daniel Maartens, 5 Cameron Lindsay, 4 Le Roux Roets, 3 Ruan Kramer, 2 Marko Janse van Rensburg, 1 Morgan Naude.
Replacements: 16 Liam Hendricks, 17 Simon Westraadt, 18 Dewald Maritz, 19 Darrien Landsberg, 20 Jeandre Rudolph, 21 Dian Badenhorst, 22 Neil Marais, 23 Ruwellyn Isbell.
Pumas standby reserves: 24 HP van Schoor (standby), 25 Fiela Boshoff (standby).
Kick-off time: 14:30
Venue: Free State Stadium
TV stream: Supersport