The Cheetahs are sweating on the fitness of double World Cup winner Frans Steyn ahead of their clash with the Stormers at Newlands this weekend.
Steyn will have to pass a late fitness test to determine his readiness for Saturday’s crunch round six Super Rugby Unlocked match.
Steyn in doubt
In what is a do-or-die match for both sides the Cheetahs are desperate to be able to deploy their experienced midfielder.
The match at Newlands starts at 19:00 and will be televised live on the SuperSport Rugby and Grandstand channels.
Steyn missed last weekend’s defeat against his former team, the Sharks, due to a groin injury and although he is back in the starting line-up a call on his availability will only be made later. He is bracketed at inside centre with Chris Smit set to step in if he cannot compete.
Should Smit be required to start the match Howard Mnisi will come into the side on the replacements bench.
After the mid-season loss of lock Walt Steenkamp to the Bulls the Cheetahs are set to hand a debut to JP du Preez in the second row.
The other change to the starting pack of forwards sees the selection of Pumas recruit Jeandre Rudolph at the back of the scrum, in place of Aidon Davids.
Wilmar Arnoldi (cheek bone), Reniel Hugo (knee), Aranos Coetzee (ankle), Duncan Saal (hamstring), Ruan Pienaar (knee) and Craig Barry (knee) were all not considered for selection because of injury.
The Cheetahs started their campaign brightly with back-to-back wins but were awarded a draw after their match against the Lions was callled off and then lost to the Sharks in a tense clash in Bloemfontein last week.
They remain in the hunt for the title but need a win in this round to stay in touch with log leaders, the Bulls.
Super Rugby Unlocked team news – Cheetahs
15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Malcolm Jaer, 13 William Small-Smith, 12 Frans Steyn/Chris Smit, 11 Rosko Specman, 10 Tian Schoeman, 9 Tian Meyer, 8 Jeandré Rudolph, 7 Junior Pokomela (captain), 6 Andisa Ntsila, 5 Carl Wegner, 4 Ian Groenewald, 3 Luan de Bruin, 2 Reinach Venter, 1 Charles Marais. Replacements: 16 Boan Venter, 17 Marnus van der Merwe, 18 Khutha Mchunu, 19 JP du Preez, 20 Aidon Davis, 21 Ruben de Haas, 22 Reinhardt Fortuin, 23 Chris Smit/Howard Mnisi.
Match information – Stormers vs Cheetahs
Date: Saturday, 14 November
Venue: Newlands, Cape Town
Referee: Marius van der Westhuizen
Assistant referees: Cwengile Jadezweni, Egon Seconds
Television Match Official: Joey Klaaste-Salmans
TV: SuperSport Rugby and Grandstand