Coenie back for Cheetahs
Coenie Oosthuizen (Gallo Images)
Bloemfontein - Free State Cheetahs prop Coenie Oosthuizen will make a return after a lengthy neck injury when he joins the bench for the Bloemfontein side's Currie Cup game against the Blue Bulls in Pretoria on Saturday.
The Springbok prop injured himself in an international Test against England earlier this year, eventually missing the last couple of weeks of Super Rugby and the first games of the Currie Cup season.
His return, albeit on the bench, is a boost for a Cheetahs side plagued by injuries to stalwarts like lock Andries Ferreira and flanker Frans Viljoen.
"It is great to have Coenie back. He has been training for a while now and looks good, but we won't rush him," said Cheetahs coach Naka Drotské.
"At the same time this is a good opportunity for Ross Geldenhuys to prove his worth.
"He comes in from the bench for the injured Schalk van der Merwe."
The coach has included playmaker and winger Raymond Rhule at outside centre, at the cost of Andries Strauss, in the hope that the speedster can provide the magic that the Cheetahs backline has been lacking the last couple of weeks. Rayno Benjamin comes in on the wing after the positional change.
Flanker Philip van der Walt has also been promoted to the starting line-up after recovering from a knee injury, and he replaces veteran Hendro Scholtz, who is relegated to the bench. Davon Raubenheimer falls out of the match 22 altogether.
15 Jürgen Visser, 14 Akona Ndungane, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Francois Venter, 11 Sampie Mastriet, 10 Louis Fouché, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 Arno Botha, 7 Jacques Potgieter, 6 Dewald Potgieter (captain), 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Wilhelm Steenkamp, 3 Werner Kruger, 2 Willie Wepener, 1 Mornè Mellett
Substitutes: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Frik Kirsten, 18 Cornell Hess, 19 CJ Stander, 20 Ruan Snyman, 21 Lionel Cronjè, 22 Ulrich Beyers
Free State Cheetahs:
15 Hennie Daniller, 14 Nico Scheepers, 13 Robert Ebersohn (captain), 12 Raymond Rhule, 11 Rayno Benjamin, 10 Tewis de Bruyn, 9 Sarel Pretorius, 8 Philip van der Walt, 7 Lappies Labuschagn, 6 Heinrich Brüssow, 5 Izak van der Westhuizen, 4 Francois Uys, 3 Ross Geldenhuys, 2 Hercu Liebenberg, 1 Marcel van der Merwe.
Substitutes: 16 Elandre Huggett, 17 Coenie Oosthuizen, 18 Carl Wegner, 19 Hendro Scholtz, 20 Sias Ebersohn, 21 Philip Snyman, 22 Andries Strauss.