The Cheetahs are set to give Victor Sekekete and George Cronjé Carling Currie Cup honours on Saturday when they make their run-on debuts against the Bulls at Loftus Versfeld in the Free State teams opening match of the competition.
Cheetahs blood new faces for Bulls trip
The defending Currie Cup champions had a bye last week and will be keen to claw their way closer to the three leading teams on the standings. The match at Loftus kicks off at 16:30 and will be broadcast on SuperSport Rugby and Grandstand.
Well-travelled flanker Sekekete, formerly of the Lions, Eastern Province and Griquas, will earn his first Currie Cup start for the Cheetahs in a versatile trio of loose forwards that also includes the other debutant.
Cronje played SA Schools just last year and will be making his senior rugby run-on debut at the famous ground in Pretoria.
Wegner to lead
Carl Wegner will continue to lead the Free Staters having been deputised as a late captaincy replacement for Junior Pokomela in their last match. Pokomela was ruled out shortly before their clash against Griquas due to injury and remains on ice.
Cheetahs head coach Hawies Fourie has made two injury-enforced changes to his side from their last outing late in Super Rugby Unlocked in November. Sekekete will fill the void left by Springbok Oupa Mohoje and Khutha Mchunu comes in for Hencus van Wyk at tighthead prop.
Mohoje and Van Wyk are both nursing hamstring strains.
Mchunu’s call-up to the starting team has allowed Erich de Jager to fill the void among the replacements, while Cronjé’s inclusion sees JP du Preez, who has opted to further his career in England, drop out of the matchday squad.
Carling Currie Cup team news – Cheetahs
Cheetahs: 15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Rhyno Smith, 13 Howard Mnisi, 12 Frans Steyn, 11 Rosko Specman, 10 Tian Schoeman, 9 Tian Meyer, 8 Jeandré Rudolph, 7 Victor Sekekete, 6 Andisa Ntsila, 5 Carl Wegner (captain), 4 Ian Groenewald, 3 Khutha Mchunu, 2 Reinach Venter, 1 Boan Venter. Replacements: 16 Jacques du Toit, 17 Cameron Dawson, 18 Erich de Jager, 19 Chris Massyn, 20 George Cronjé, 21 Ruben de Haas, 22 Reinhardt Fortuin, 23 William Small-Smith.
Match information – Vodacom Bulls v Toyota Cheetahs
Date: Saturday, 5 December 2020
Venue: Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
Referee: Jaco Peyper
Assistant Referees: Aimee Barrett-Theron, Paul Mente
TMO: Johan Greeff
TV: SuperSport Rugby and Grandstand