Cheetahs pick Marais at centre for Stormers clash
Cape Town - Cheetahs coach Franco Smith has named his team for Saturday’s South African Super Rugby derby against the Stormers at Newlands.
Smith has made a number of changes to the team that lost 38-30 to the Sharks in Bloemfontein last weekend.
The good news is that captain Francois Venter has been cleared after struggling with a hamstring niggle this week.
In changes up front, Charles Marais and Ox Nche swap places, with Marais starting at loosehead prop and Nche on the bench.
Armandt Koster also replaces Justin Basson at lock.
In the backline, Niel Marais - who normally operates at flyhalf - is picked at inside centre, with Nico Lee moving to the bench.
Sergeal Petersen makes his return from knee and hamstring injuries, replacing JW Jonker who stepped in for him last week.
Meanwhile, Obi Luther - who was recently recruited from the Bulls - replaces Rayno Benjamin on the bench and will make his Super Rugby debut if called upon.
Saturday’s clash is scheduled for 15:05.
15 SP Marais, 14 Cheslin Kolbe, 13 EW Viljoen, 12 Dan du Plessis, 11 Dillyn Leyds, 10 Robert du Preez, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 7 Siya Kolisi (captain), 6 Cobus Wiese, 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 JC Janse van Rensburg
Substitutes: 16 Ramone Samuels, 17 Caylib Oosthuizen, 18 Oli Kebble, 19 Chris van Zyl, 20 Nizaam Carr, 21 Dewaldt Duvenage, 22 Kurt Coleman, 23 Dan Kriel
15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Francois Venter (captain), 12 Niel Marais, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Fred Zeilinga, 9 Shaun Venter, 8 Henco Venter, 7 Oupa Mohoje, 6 Paul Schoeman, 5 Francois Uys, 4 Armandt Koster, 3 Johan Coetzee, 2 Torsten van Jaarsveld, 1 Charles Marais
Substitutes: 16 Elandre Huggett, 17 Ox Nche, 18 Tom Botha, 19 Carl Wegner, 20 Niell Jordaan, 21 Tian Meyer, 22 Nico Lee, 23 Luther Obi