Currie Cup

Johnson, Nel out for Cheetahs

2011-08-30 07:31
Ashley Johnson (File)
Cape Town - The Cheetahs have received a double blow with the news that prop WP Nel and eightman Ashley Johnson will be out injured this weekend.

Both will miss the Cheetahs' Currie Cup clash against the Leopards in Potchefstroom on Saturday.

Nel was a late withdrawal from their clash against Griquas on Saturday when he injured his calf muscle. The Cheetahs went on to lose 23-20, after seemingly looking in control at 20-9 up with 10 minutes to go.

Cheetahs coach Naka Drotské told the Volksblad newspaper that Nel went for a scan on Monday and will be out of action for between four and six weeks.

Johnson injured a nerve in his shoulder against Griquas, but is only expected to be out for one week. He should be fit to face the Blue Bulls in Bloemfontein on September 10.

Boom Prinsloo or Philip van der Walt will replace Johnson at eightman.

Nel's injury has also opened the door for prop Coenie Oosthuizen to have a go at tighthead.

Oosthuizen has largely played as a loosehead prop at senior level, but played at tighthead at school.

Cheetahs scrum coach Os du Randt and Drotské decided to move the burly prop to loosehead early in his senior career, with the aim of moving him to tighthead later on - as tighthead is a more specialised position.

This move could strengthen Oosthuizen's Test aspirations, as it will make him a much more versatile player.

"The opportunity to play tighthead is a positive development for Coenie. He also wants to play tighthead later on in his career," said Drotské.

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