League convert to face Cheetahs
Cape Town - Highlanders coach Jamie Joseph has named his team to tackle the Cheetahs in a Super Rugby clash in Bloemfontein on Saturday.
Joseph made three changes to his starting XV from the team that lost 28-23 to the Lions in Johannesburg last weekend.
Hawkes Bay wing Ryan Tongia and Tasman lock Alex Ainley are set to make their Super Rugby debuts.
Tongia replaces the injured Waisake Naholo at right wing, while Ainley takes over from Tom Franklin at lock.
Ainley returns from a fractured jaw sustained playing club rugby two months ago, while league convert, Tongia, makes the team after less than a year in the game.
The only other change is at flank where John Hardie replaces Dan Pryor.
Kick-off for Saturday’s clash at Free State Stadium kicks off at 19:10.
15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Rayno Benjamin, 13 Francois Venter, 12 Michael van der Spuy, 11 Sergeal Petersen, 10 Francois Brummer, 9 Tian Meyer, 8 Willie Britz, 7 Boom Prinsloo, 6 Tienie Burger, 5 Francois Uys (captain), 4 Carl Wegner, 3 Maks van Dyk, 2 Torsten van Jaarsveld, 1 Danie Minnie
Substitutes: 16 Stephan Coetzee, 17 BG Uys, 18 Ewald van der Westhuizen, 19 Steven Sykes, 20 Carel Greeff, 21 Shaun Venter, 22 Coenie van Wyk, 23 Raymond Rhule
15 Ben Smith (co-captain), 14 Ryan Tongia, 13 Malakai Fekitoa, 12 Richard Buckman, 11 Patrick Osborne, 10 Lima Sopoaga, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Nasi Manu (co-captain), 7 John Hardie, 6 Gareth Evans, 5 Mark Reddish, 4 Alex Ainley, 3 Josh Hohneck, 2 Liam Coltman, 1 Brendon Edmonds.
Substitutes: 16 Ash Dixon, 17 Daniel Lienert-Brown, 18 Ross Geldenhuys, 19 Tom Franklin, 20 Elliot Dixon, 21 Dan Pryor, 22 Fumiaki Tanaka, 23 Marty Banks