The Cheetahs have made five changes to their starting team as they aim to usurp a Currie Cup semi-final berth from the Lions in Bloemfontein.
Coach Hawies Fourie has made three changes to the backline, and two among the forwards as his Cheetahs team set out to prove they are among the top four teams in South Africa.
Cheetahs rotate for crucial Lions clash
The Cheetahs were humbled in Pretoria last week and have shuffled their personnel for this crucial clash as William Small-Smith, and Malcolm Jaer take up positions on the wing. Last week’s starters Rhyno Smith and Rosko Specman are rested.
Tian Schoeman had been slated to start at flyhalf against the Bulls but was withdrawn. He now returns to the starting XV while young pivot Reinhardt Fortuin drops to the bench.
This Currie Cup campaign is like no other and will require every team to utilise their wider squad. The Cheetahs need to establish consistency in key areas to remain competitive as the tournament wears on.
With that in mind, Jacques du Toit assumes the pressure of correcting a misfiring lineout as he takes over at hooker and Reinach Venter drops out of the matchday squad. Marnus van der Merwe is the reserve hooker among the Cheetahs named substitutes.
The other change to the pack sees Aidon Davis replace Victor Sekekete at Flank. Sekekete drops to the bench.
Loose forward Reniel Hugo and centre Dries Swanepoel are in line to make their first Currie Cup appearances off the Cheetahs bench.
The Cheetahs are coming off a big defeat to the Bulls. They were blanked in a second-half rout at Loftus after going into the break 13-13. The defending champions are still in the hunt for successive titles despite their patchy form but could find themselves adrift of the semi-final places if they suffer defeat in Bloemfontein.
Cheetahs: 15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 William Small-Smith, 13 Howard Mnisi, 12 Frans Steyn, 11 Malcolm Jaer, 10 Tian Schoeman, 9 Tian Meyer, 8 Jeandré Rudolph, 7 Aidon Davis, 6 Andisa Ntsila, 5 Carl Wegner (captain), 4 Ian Groenewald, 3 Khutha Mchunu, 2 Jacques du Toit, 1 Boan Venter. Replacements: 16 Marnus van der Merwe, 17 Cameron Dawson, 18 Erich de Jager, 19 Reniel Hugo, 20 Victor Sekekete, 21 Ruben de Haas, 22 Reinhardt Fortuin, 23 Dries Swanepoel.
Match information – Cheetahs vs Lions
Date: Saturday, 12 December 2020
Venue: Toyota Stadium, Bloemfontein
Referee: Rasta Rasivhenge
Assistant Referees: AJ Jacobs and Griffin Colby
TMO: Jaco Peyper
TV: SuperSport Rugby and Grandstand