De Bruyn starts for Cheetahs
Cape Town - Tewis de Bruyn will start in the No 9 jersey for the Cheetahs in their Super Rugby opener against the Lions in Johannesburg on Saturday.
newspaper reports that De Bruyn's experience, solid defence and tactical prowess earned him a spot ahead of the promising young Pieter van Zyl.
De Bruyn was not part of the Cheetahs' pre-season preparations as he played for French club Toulon.
"Tewis's defence was really good in the warm-up game against the Bulls. These days our scrumhalf is more part of our defensive structure and tackling is one of his (De Bruyn's) strong points. Tewis also kicks well and there is a chance that it might rain this weekend," said backline coach, Hawies Fourie.
Up to eight players in the Cheetahs' 22-man squad could make their Super Rugby debuts against the Lions.
Left wing, Rocco Jansen, flyhalf Johan Goosen, flank Lappies Labuschagné, lock Andries Ferreira and prop Trevor Nyakane are all newcomers in the starting XV. Hooker, Hercu Liebenberg, Van Zyl and fullback Willie le Roux are substitutes.
Right wing Dusty Noble, who previously played for the Lions, will make his first Super Rugby appearance for the Cheetahs. Noble was preferred ahead of regular wing incumbent Rayno Benjamin. There's not even a spot for Benjamin on the bench.
There is, however, an injury cloud which hangs over Labuschagné's participation. The flank played for Shimlas in their 20-7 Varsity Cup defeat to Maties on Monday and injured his shoulder in that clash. He was assessed by the Cheetahs' medical staff late on Tuesday and could miss this weekend's encounter.
Should Labuschagné not be declared fit he will be replaced by Philip van der Walt.Teams:
15 Hennie Daniller, 14 Dusty Noble, 13 Robert Ebersohn, 12 Andries Strauss, 11 Rocco Jansen, 10 Johan Goosen, 9 Tewis de Bruyn, 8 Davon Raubenheimer, 7 Lappies Labuschagné/Philip van der Walt, 6 Heinrich Brüssow, 5 Izak van der Westhuizen, 4 Andries Ferreira, 3 WP Nel, 2 Adriaan Strauss
(captain), 1 Trevor Nyakane.
Substitutes: 16 Hercu Liebenberg, 17 Lourens Adriaanse, 18 Waltie Vermeulen, 19 Ashley Johnson, 20 Pieter van Zyl, 21 Sias Ebersohn, 22 Willie le Roux.