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    Cheetahs lose vice-captain

    2014-03-18 10:20
    Cape Town - The Cheetahs have lost their vice-captain after centre Francois Venter was sent home from their Australasian tour with a shoulder injury.

    Venter, 22, is the second player to head home from their tour following the earlier departure of prop Coenie Oosthuizen due to a neck injury.

    Venter underwent a scan on Monday after he was injured in the 60-27 weekend loss to the Hurricanes.

    "It's bad to lose Francois. He is our vice-captain and it's huge setback," coach Naka Drotské told the Volksblad website.

    Griquas flyhalf Francois Brummer has been flown in to provide cover as the Cheetahs prepare to face the Blues in Auckland on Saturday.

    Howard Mnisi could replace Venter in the starting team, but there is also talks of Drotské trying out regular wing Rayno Benjamin at inside centre.

    This is to counter the expected return to the Blues line-up of All Black centre Ma'a Nonu, who has not played this year due to an ankle injury.

    Good news for the Cheetahs is that wing Raymond Rhule (ankle niggle) will be ready to face the Blues.

    The Blues will also be boosted by the return of All Blacks, hooker Keven Mealamu (knee), and flank Jerome Kaino (back from Japan).

    Saturday's game at Eden Park kicks off at 08:35 (SA time).

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