Uys at flank for Cheetahs
Francois Uys (Gallo Images)
Bloemfontein - Free State Cheetahs coach Naka Drotské has included regular lock Francois Uys in his loose-trio in place of injured Springbok veteran flanker Heinrich Brüssow for his side's Currie Cup clash against the Sharks in Bloemfontein on Saturday.
Brüssow injured his shoulder in the Cheetahs' victory over Griquas last weekend and will have to undergo a surgical procedure that will have him sidelined for at least six months.
Brüssow is one of five Cheetahs loose forwards currently unavailable, as Hendro Scholtz, who picked up a knock against the head last week, is also sidelined.
The Bloemfontein outfit will also be without Juan Smith (ankle), Kabamba Floors (knee), Boom Prinsloo (shoulder) and Frans Viljoen (arm) who are all unavailable due to injury.
This weekend the Cheetahs loose-trio will consist of Philip van der Walt, Uys and Lappies Labuschagne, with Davon Raubenheimer the only remaining loose forward on the bench.
Uys's shift to flanker means that youngster Carl Wegner is promoted to the starting line-up, packing down with Izak van der Westhuizen at lock.
"It's a difficult time with all the injured players not available, Drotské said on Wednesday.
"And now Heinrich's absence comes as another shock. He will even miss some of our Super Rugby games next year.
"We now look towards the available players to put their hands up and perform."
In another positional change, nippy back Raymond Rhule is moved from inside centre back to wing, with centre Andries Strauss slotting back into the midfield.
"We need to keep the momentum going that we got against the Griquas. The Sharks will be a difficult side to beat, but we need to put everything we have into that game," Drotské added.
Free State Cheetahs:
15 Hennie Daniller, 14 Nico Scheepers, 13 Robert Ebersohn (captain), 12 Andries Strauss, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Sias Ebersohn, 9 Sarel Pretorius, 8 Philip van der Walt, 7 Francois Uys, 6 Lappies Labuschagne, 5 Izak van der Westhuizen, 4 Carl Wegner, 3 Ross Geldenhuys, 2 Hercu Liebenberg, 1 Marcel van der Merwe.
Substitutes: 16 AJ le Roux, 17 Brummer Badenhorst, 18 Waltie Vermeulen, 19 Davon Raubenheimer, 20 Tewis de Bruyn, 21 Philip Snyman, 22 Rayno Benjamin.