The Cheetahs and Griquas have made changes to their lineups ahead of their final match of the Currie Cup.
Both teams are out of the running for the already settled semi-finals but will want to finish the campaign on a high note.
Changes all round
Griquas head coach, Scott Mathie, made two changes to his backline and two up front while Cheetahs head coach Hawies Fourie made wholesale changes to his matchday squad.
Fourie made three changes to the forward pack, two of which were in the front row – Marnus van der Merwe takes over from the injured Wilmar Arnoldi at hooker, and Conraad van Vuuren (prop) moves up from the replacements bench in place of Khutha Mchunu, who in turn is named as an impact player.
The other change up front was in the loose trio, where George Cronje, a star for the SA Schools side in 2019, fills the void left by Oupa Mohoje, who has been ruled out with a back injury.
At the back, Duncan Saal gets a run on the right wing, which sees Rosko Specman switch to the other side and Rhyno Smith drop down to the bench, while Tian Meyer takes over from Ruben de Haas at scrumhalf, with the latter starting among the replacements.
On the bench, Cameron Dawson (prop) and Louis van der Westhuizen (hooker) are back in action after recovering from their injuries and will feature among a number of new faces.
The match between the two central unions, which is purely for bragging rights, will kick off at Tafel Lager Park at 16h30, and will be broadcast live on SuperSport.
Mathie tweaked the squad that came up short in Durban last weekend as they hunt their first and only win in the competition.
Daniel Kasende will start on the right wing, with Harlon Klaasen on his inside, replacing Enver Brandt and Berton Klaassen respectively.
In the forward pack, Mathie recalled Adre Smith (lock) in place of Ewan Coetzee, who in turn starts among the replacements.
In the other change, prop Mox Mxoli, has been promoted to the starting team, switching with Andrew Beerwinkel, who is one of the impact players.
Mathie named an extended bench, featuring experienced flyhalf and former captain, George Whitehead, who missed a big chunk of the season due to injury, while Ederies Arendse (wing) comes in for Johnathan Francke.
Masixole Banda (utility back) could also get a run if he features in the finalised matchday squad.
Teams – Griquas vs Cheetahs
Griquas – 15 James Verity-Amm, 14 Daniel Kasende, 13 Harlon Klaasen, 12 Andre Swarts, 11 Eduan Keyter, 10 Tinus de Beer, 9 Zak Burger (Captain), 8 Johan Momsen, 7 Stefan Willemse, 6 Gideon van der Merwe, 5 Cameron Lindsay, 4 Adre Smith, 3 John-Roy Jenkinson, 2 Alandre van Rooyen, 1 Mox Mxoli.
Replacements (from): 16 CJ Conradie, 17 Bandisa Ndlovu, 18 Tijde Visser, 19 Ewan Coetzee, 20 Siba Qoma, 21 Ashlon Davids, 22 George Whitehead, 23 Ederies Arendse, 24 Andrew Beerwinkel, 25 Raegan Oranje, 26 Masixole Banda.
Cheetahs – 15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Duncan Saal, 13 Dries Swanepoel, 12 Frans Steyn, 11 Rosko Specman, 10 Reinhardt Fortuin, 9 Tian Meyer, 8 Jeandré Rudolph, 7 George Cronje, 6 Andisa Ntsila, 5 Reniel Hugo, 4 Carl Wegner (captain), 3 Conraad van Vuuren, 2 Marnus van der Merwe, 1 Boan Venter. Replacements: 16 Louis van der Westhuizen, 17 Cameron Dawson, 18 Khutha Mchunu, 19 Victor Sekekete, 20 Chris Massyn, 21 Ruben de Haas, 22 Howard Mnisi, 23 Rhyno Smith.
Match information – Griquas vs Cheetahs
Date: Saturday, 9 January 2021
Venue: Tafel Lager Park, Kimberley
Referee: Aimee Barrett-Theron
Assistant Referees: Griffin Colby and Paul Mente
TMO: Cwengile Jadezweni
TV: SuperSport Grandstand and Rugby