Bloemfontein - Springbok hooker Adriaan Strauss makes a welcome return to the Cheetahs side for Saturday’s Absa Currie Cup match against the defending champions, the Blue Bulls at Loftus Versfeld.
Strauss, who provides a lot of fire and spark to the Cheetahs pack, was injured during the Super 14 competition, and underwent a shoulder operation, returns to his place in the side, even though it will probably only be for the first half.
His return is one of four changes that coach Naka Drotske has made to the team that beat Griquas in Bloemfontein last Friday.
Strauss will start the game, but is likely to be replaced by Skipper Badenhorst, who is on the bench, while lock Izak van der Westhuizen returns from an ankle ailment to replace Francois Uys in the starting line-up.
Barend Pieterse moves up from the bench to continue his long-serving career and swops with Waltie Vermeulen in the final change to the pack. In the backline, Meyer Bosman’s concussion means that Corné Uys moves into the starting line-up.
Uys looked hungry for action after being a second-half replacement last weekend against Griquas.
Free State Cheetahs:
15 Hennie Daniller; 14 Philip Snyman, 13 Robert Ebersohn, 12 Corné Uys, 11 Jongi Nokwe; 10 Louis Strydom, 9 Tewis de Bruyn; 8 Ashley Johnson, 7 Juan Smith, 6 Hendro Scholtz (captain), 5 Barend Pieterse, 4 Izak van der Westhuizen, 3 WP Nel, 2 Adriaan Strauss, 1 Coenie Oosthuizen.
Substitutes: 16 Skipper Badenhorst, 17 Kobus Calldo, 18 Waltie Vermeulen, 19 Kabamba Floors, 20 Tertius Carse, 21 Sias Ebersohn, 22 JW Jonker.