Cape Town - Cheetahs coach Franco Smith has named his team for Sunday’s PRO14 match against Welsh club Scarlets at the Parc y Scarlets in Llanelli.
Kick-off is at 15:00 (SA time).
Smith made only two changes to the team that lost 25-17 to Irish club Connacht in Galway last weekend.
Benhard Janse van Rensburg comes in for Nico Lee at inside centre, with Lee banned for 13 weeks for clearing his nose in the face of an opponent last week.
Up front, Walt Steenkamp replaces Jasper Wiese at lock, with the latter on the bench.
READ: Cheetahs centre banned for clearing nose in face of opponent
The sides will enter the match equal on log points (36), but the Scarlets do boast seven victories to the Cheetahs’ six. While the visitors have been more effective on attack with 57 tries to the home side’s 45, the Scarlets will rely on their solid defence to keep the visitors at bay after conceding 18 fewer tries in their 15 matches.
With a number of top performers in the competition in the Cheetahs’ team, including try-scoring machine Rabs Maxwane (most tries in the competition) and Junior Pokomela (most lineout steals), the visitors have the manpower to return to their winning ways.
"We expect a tough match on Sunday. Statistics show that the Scarlets score most of their points in the second half and we expect a big finish from them. It will be a hard fight for 80 minutes," Smith said.
"It is important for us to follow up with a good performance this week. We did well last week and fell short against a very good team. This week we’ll have to go a step further and be more clinical in the execution of our plans, but I feel that we took a lot of confidence from our performance against Connacht.
"The players are more used to the circumstances and conditions in Europe and we are looking forward to improve on our performance.
"Wayne Pivac is a very experienced coach, who will be coaching the national team next year. Even without some of their players, they are well prepared and an organised group. We anticipate a huge onslaught from them."
15 Louis Fouche, 14 William Small-Smith, 13 Benhard Janse van Rensburg, 12 Dries Swanepoel, 11 Rabs Maxwane, 10 Tian Schoeman, 9 Shaun Venter (captain), 8 Gerhard Olivier, 7 Junior Pokomela, 6 Abongile Nonkontwana, 5 JP du Preez, 4 Walt Steenkamp, 3 Aranos Coetzee, 2 Marnus van der Merwe, 1 Ox Nche
Substitutes: 16 Jacques du Toit, 17 Reinach Venter, 18 Luan de Bruin, 19 Sintu Manjezi, 20 Jasper Wiese, 21 Henco Venter, 22 Rudy Paige, 23 Tian Meyer