Bloemfontein - The Springbok trio of lock Lood de Jager, flanker Teboho Mohoje and prop Trevor Nyakane have been included in the Cheetahs' team for their Currie Cup encounter against the Golden Lions in Johannesburg on Saturday.
All three players featured for the Springboks in the recent Rugby Championship which included the national side's 27-25 victory over the All Blacks at Ellis Park Stadium over the weekend.
Bok prop Coenie Oosthuizen was not eligible for the match against the Lions as he was among the SA Rugby Union-contracted players that are to assemble for training camp in Stellenbosch later this month.
However, De Jager, Mohoje and Nyakane were available to bolster the Cheetahs as they look for a bonus-point victory to secure a semi-final berth.
"We are very glad to have Teboho, Trevor and Lood back as they bring a wealth of experience that will be needed against a strong side like the Lions," Cheetahs' coach Rory Duncan said.
"It is going to be a tough game and we still have an outside chance for a spot in the semis. We will be throwing everything at them."
Mohoje's inclusion means Lappies Labuschagne shifts from blindside flank to eighthman, with Neil Claassen taking up a spot on the bench.
Nyakane will earn a starting berth at the expense of George Marich, while lock Henco Venter makes way for De Jager in the run-on side.
Caylib Oosthuizen also comes off the bench to replace Coenie Oosthuizen at loosehead prop.
In the backline, injuries to two key players have forced a reshuffle, with JP du Plessis slotting in at centre in the place of injured vice-captain Francois Venter, with AJ Coertzen playing on the wing.
"It is difficult with all the injuries disrupting us, but we are confident that the replacements will be up for the task," Duncan said.
"It is going to be a massive game. It is crucial for us to get the win. It isn't negotiable."Teams:
Free State Cheetahs:
15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 AJ Coertzen, 13 JP du Plessis, 12 Joubert Engelbrecht, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Willie du Plessis, 9 Sarel Pretorius, 8 Lappies Labuschagne, 7 Teboho Mohoje, 6 Tienie Burger, 5 Francois Uys, 4 Lood de Jager, 3 Trevor Nyakane, 2 Torsten van Jaarseveld (captain), 1 Caylib Oosthuizen
Substitutes: 16 Hercu Liebenberg, 17 George Marich, 18 Henco Venter, 19 Neil Claassen, 20 Shaun Venter, 21 Pieter-Steyn de Wet, 22 Maphutha Dolo