Cheetahs bank on Shimlas pivot
Cape Town - Cheetahs coach Franco Smith has named his team to tackle the Waratahs in a Super Rugby clash in Bloemfontein on Saturday (15:00 kick-off).
It will be Smith’s first game in charge following the departure of Naka Drotske.
Smith has made several changes to the team that lost 42-12 to the Stormers at Newlands last weekend.
In the backline, Niel Marais replaces Joe Pietersen at flyhalf. Marais was a star player for Shimlas in this year’s Varsity Cup, which they won under the coaching tutelage of Smith.
Sarel Pretorius is also back at scrumhalf, while Cornal Hendricks will start on the left wing, replacing Raymond Rhule who has a knee injury.
Rayno Benjamin also moves up from the bench, replacing Michael van der Spuy to start at inside centre this week, while Coenie van Wyk replaces Clayton Blommetjies at fullback.
Up front, BG Uys starts at loosehead prop, with Danie Mienie moving to the bench, while Tienie Burger and Boom Prinsloo swap places in the loose trio.
Niell Jordaan will also make his Super Rugby debut at No 8, replacing Henco Venter.
Among the substitutes, Elandre Hugget takes Stephan Coetzee’s place as reserve hooker, while Willie Britz replaces Carel Greeff, with Shaun Venter also coming in on the bench as scrumhalf reserve.
15 Coenie van Wyk, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Francois Venter, 12 Rayno Benjamin, 11 Cornal Hendricks, 10 Niel Marais, 9 Sarel Pretorius, 8 Niell Jordaan, 7 Tienie Burger, 6 Boom Prinsloo, 5 Francois Uys (captain), 4 Carl Wegner, 3 Maks van Dyk, 2 Torsten van Jaarsveld, 1 BG Uys
Substitutes: 16 Elandre Huggett, 17 Danie Mienie, 18 Ewald van der Westhuizen, 19 Seven Sykes, 20 Gerhard Olivier, 21 Henco Venter, 22 Shaun Venter, 23 Joe Pietersen