Cape Town - Blues coach John Kirwan has warned his players not to write off the Cheetahs who he says boast a few "classy players" among their ranks.
Both teams have recorded only one victory this season with the Cheetahs looking particularly suspect following their 60-27 mauling at the hands of the Hurricanes last week.
The Blues have also been bolstered by the return of World Cup winning All Blacks Jerome Kaino and Ma’a Nonu for Saturday’s clash at Eden Park, although the duo will start off the bench.
But Kirwan said it would be foolish to write off the men from Bloemfontein, in particular referring to the Springbok trio of Adriaan Strauss
, Johan Goosen and Willie le Roux.
“They’re a good football side, they were in the top six last year and they’ve got some really key playmakers in their captain and also the 2 (Strauss), 10 (Goosen) and 15 (Le Roux) are really class players and they play a good style of footy," Kirwan told the Blues' official website
“They play wide to wide a lot and they get off the ground and run so we’re in for a huge evening. They’ve had a hard tour but they’re certainly not a long way off and last week, although the score flattered the Hurricanes, if you have a look at the game they were right in it and they can score from anywhere.
“It’s going to be a tough evening and it’s must-win for us. There’s a little bit of desperation around the place and we need to put that on the paddock.”
Kick-off is at 08:35 (SA time) on Saturday.Teams:Blues:
15 Charles Piutau, 14 Frank Halai, 13 George Moala, 12 Jackson Willison, 11 Tevita Li, 10 Simon Hickey, 9 Piri Weepu, 8 Peter Saili, 7 Luke Braid (captain), 6 Steven Luatua, 5 Tom Donnelly, 4 Liaki Moli, 3 Charlie Faumuina, 2 James Parsons, 1 Tony Woodcock.
Substitutes: 16 Tom McCartney, 17 Angus Ta'avao, 18 Ofa Tu'ungafasi, 19 Jerome Kaino, 20 Hayden Triggs, 21 Bryn Hall, 22 Ma'a Nonu, 23 Benji MarshallCheetahs:
15 Willie le Roux, 14 Cornal Hendricks, 13 Johann Sadie, 12 Rayno Benjamin, 11 Hennie Daniller, 10 Johan Goosen, 9 Sarel Pretorius
, 8 Philip van der Walt, 7 Jean Cook, 6 Boom Prinsloo, 5 Francois Uys, 4 Lodewyk de Jager, 3 Maks van Dyk, 2 Adriaan Strauss
, 1 Caylib Oosthuizen
Substitutes: 16 Ryno Barnes, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Rossouw de Klerk, 19 Andries Ferreira, 20 Lappies Labuschagné, 21 Shaun Venter, 22 Elgar Watts, 23 Howard Mnisi