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    Weak Cheetahs to face Lions

    2013-01-23 12:01
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    Bloemfontein - Veteran rugby centre JP Nel will partner with Robert Ebersohn in midfield for the Cheetahs' first pre-season warm-up game on Saturday against the Lions in Johannesburg.

    Nel, a former Bulls' centre who joined Griquas and the Cheetahs after a two-year stint in Japan, will get his first taste of Super Rugby since his last outing for the Bulls in the 2009 season.

    Cheetahs' coach Naka Drotske has chosen to give Springbok hooker Adriaan Strauss a rest after a packed 2012 season, and Ebersohn will take over the captaincy for Saturday's outing.

    The coach also has some injury concerns, with locks Martin Muller (groin) and Andries Ferreira (knee) as well as flanker Heinrich Brussow (shoulder) still injured.

    Muller will be out for at least three months and is replaced by Francois Uys for the game against the Lions.

    He will partner Lodewyk de Jager to form the Cheetahs tight five, which is bolstered by Rossouw de Klerk, Torsten van Jaarsveld and Caylib Oosthuizen in the front row.

    In the backline, Drotske has maintained many of his stars of last year's Currie Cup, with pace winger Raymond Rhule and Hennie Daniller (fullback) the most notable. Francois Brummer, who joined Griquas from the Bulls in 2012, gets his first run at fly half.






    The Cheetahs will be without several first-choice players for their Vodacom Super Rugby warm-up match against the Lions on Saturday.

    Centre Johann Sadie and locks Martin Muller and Andries Ferreira are all sidelined with injury, while flyhalf Johan Goosen, prop Coenie Oosthuizen, flank Heinrich Brussow and wing Wille le Roux are also missing from the match 22.

    The Cheetahs have rested skipper and hooker Adriaan Strauss, with the result that centre Robert Ebersohn will lead the side at Ellis Park. Kick-off is at 17:00.

    The Lions won the first match in the Lions Challenge last weekend against Russia, 51-13.

    The Cheetahs open their Super Rugby campaign at home against the Sharks on Saturday, February 23 at 17:05.

    Teams:

    Lions:

    TBC

    Cheetahs:
    15 Hennie Daniller, 14 Jannie Boshoff, 13 JP Nel, 12 Robert Ebersohn (captain), 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Francois Brummer, 9 Piet van Zyl, 8 Boom Prinsloo, 7 Tertius Daniller, 6 Marnus Schoeman, 5 Francois Uys, 4 Lodewyk de Jager, 3 Rossouw de Klerk, 2 Torsten van Jaarsveld, 1 Caylib Oosthuizen

    Substitutes: 16 Hercu Liebenberg, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Ligtoring Landman, 19 Waltie Vermeulen, 20 Tewis de Bruyn, 21 Barry Geel, 22 Hansie Graaff

    HAVE YOUR SAY: How will the Cheetahs fare in this year's Super Rugby? Send your thoughts to Sport24.

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