Brenden Nel - SuperSport
Johannesburg - Young star Johan Goosen is set to go head to head with Elton Jantjies this weekend in a battle of the top rising stars in South Africa.
Goosen, the SA Schools flyhalf prodigy, will get his first taste of Vodacom Super Rugby on Saturday when he lines up for the Toyota Cheetahs against the MTN Lions at Coca Cola Park and will be keenly watched after being widely punted as a future Springbok.
His booming kicks and long-range penalties will be a massive asset on the Highveld, where Goosen will be hoping to give his team their first victory in this year’s tournament.
Coach Naka Drotske confirmed he had faith in the youngster as he named his team to face the Lions, but made a vital and interesting change, opting for the experience of Tewis de Bruyn alongside the 19-year old rather than upcoming Shimlas halfback Piet van Zyl.
Van Zyl looked a bit out of his depth against the Bulls and De Bruyn’s cool head and deft kicking game will be an asset against the Lions.
Drotske also named eight players who will make their debuts for the Cheetahs, with Goosen being one of them.
Interestingly Ashley Johnson has been named on the bench, with Drotske preferring Lappies Labuschagne to the big Bok flank. Labuschagne is struggling with a shoulder injury sustained in the Varsity Cup, and if he is forced to withdraw, his place will be taken by Phillip van der Walt.
Former Lions winger Dusty Noble also gets a second chance in Super Rugby, and looked impressive in pre-season form while the side will be led by Adriaan Strauss.
Lions: 15 Jaco Taute, 14 Deon van Rensburg, 13 Doppies le Grange, 12 Alwyn
Hollenbach, 11 James Kamana, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Michael Bondesio, 8
Joshua Strauss (captain), 7 Derick Minnie, 6 Cobus Grobbelaar, 5 Franco
van der Merwe, 4 Wikus van Heerden/ Hendrik Roodt, 3 Patric Cilliers, 2
Callie Visagie, 1 JC Janse van Rensburg.
Martin Bezuidenhout, 17 Jacobie Adriaanse/ CJ van der Linde, 18 Hendrik
Roodt / Stephan Greeff, 19 Warren Whiteley, 20 Tian Meyer, 21 Butch
James, 22 Lionel Mapoe.
Cheetahs: 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.