Johannesburg - There were injuries for both the Vodacom Cheetahs and Reds ahead of Friday night’s Super 14 clash in Bloemfontein as both lost key players for the battle.
The Cheetahs have already been hit this week by the injuries to winger Lionel Mapoe (shoulder), Frans Viljoen (cheekbone) and Hennie Daniller (kidney) but were dealt a further blow just more than 24 hours before their clash with the Reds as winger Jongi Nokwe also pulled out of the clash with a calf injury.
The Cheetahs have replaced him with Griquas winger Bjorn Basson for the clash and Nokwe will rather be rested ahead of next week’s start of their tour of Australasia.
"We do not want to risk Jongii picking up a further injury which could result in him missing the tour of Australasia," Fourie told OFM Sport.
The Reds meanwhile, have also been hit by a setback when their New Zealand flanker Daniel Braid pulled out of the clash with a knee injury he sustained against the Western Force 11 days ago.
Braid was hopeful to play, but it was decided to rather withdraw him from the team as his knee wasn’t 100% for the match.
Teenager Jake Schatz has replaced the former All Black at No 7 in the only change to Queensland's starting team.
"We've given him (Braid) every opportunity and he'd progressed very well," coach Ewen McKenzie said.
"We were very confident when we came away that he'd be right for this game. But he just didn't quite feel that it was 100% good enough to play in such a big game."
Another former Kiwi, Ezra Taylor, has been promoted to the Reds bench while livewire winger Rod Davies will make his return from a cheekbone fracture as a reserve, taking the place of Morgan Turinui.
The Reds will be looking for their third victory in a row, something they have not achieved since 2004.
15. Riaan Viljoen, 14. Danwel Demas, 13. Robert Ebersohn, 12. Meyer Bosman, 11. Bjorn Basson, 10. Naas Olivier, 9. Sarel Pretorius, 8. Ashley Johnson, 7. Juan Smith (captain), 6. Hendro Scholtz, 5. Waltie Vermeulen, 4. Nico Breedt, 3. WP Nel, 2. Adriaan Strauss, 1. Wian du Preez
Substitutes: 16. Skipper Badenhorst, 17. Coenie Oosthuizen, 18. Barend Pieterse, 19. Kabamba Floors, 20. Tewis de Bruyn, 21. Corné Uys, 22. Wilmaure Louw
15. Peter Hynes, 14. Luke Morahan, 13. Digby Ioane, 12.
Anthony Faingaa, 11. Brando Va’aulu, 10. Quade Cooper, 9. Will Genia
(captain), 8. Leroy Houston, 7. Jake Schatz, 6. Scott Higginbotham, 5.
Van Humphries, 4. Rob Simmons, 3. Laurie Weeks, 2. Saia Faingaa, 1. Ben
Substitutes: 16. Sean Hardman, 17. Greg Holmes, 18. Adam
Byrnes, 19. Ezra Taylor, 20. Ben Lucas, 21. Will Chambers, 22. Rod