Coenie's comeback delayed
Bloemfontein - Cheetahs coach Naka Drotské on Wednesday confirmed that Springbok prop Coenie Oosthuizen had not yet recovered from a neck injury and would be sidelined for another two weeks.
Oosthuizen was ruled out of the Cheetahs overseas tour where the Bloemfontein-based side lost all four of their matches.
The prop was expected to make his return from the bench in Saturday's Super Rugby clash against the Chiefs, but was told to stay sidelined for longer after visiting a specialist.
Oosthuizen's inclusion would have been a boost for the hosts ahead of what was predicted to be a massive scrum battle.
"We made a decision at training today (Wednesday) after we received the results from his scan this morning," said Drotské.
"It's a neck injury so obviously we won't take any chances. Rossouw de Klerk will come in on the replacement bench in Coenie's place."
Drotské has had time to identify where his team went wrong away from home but hopes that some of the momentum gained in the last two matches on tour can be built upon in Bloemfontein.
"We couldn't keep the ball through phases, that was a major factor in the games we lost so far," said Drotské.
"The second thing is that a lot of 50-50 decisions went against us.
"It is always difficult to win away from home, and if you get three yellow cards and concede 14 to 70 points every time, you have to play catch up rugby."
Drotske has selected Jean Cook at No 8 in the place of the injured Philip van der Walt. He would alternate between the back of the scrum and flanker with Boom Prinsloo.
"On our own ball Boom (Prinsloo) will be at the back of the scrum and on the opposition ball he packs down at open side flanker," he said.
"It doesn't really matter who has the number eight on his back."
The Cheetahs loose-forward depth will also be bolstered as of next week with Springbok Heinrich Brüssow set to return to the squad after completing his commitments in Japan.
Kick-off for Saturday's match at the Free State Stadium is scheduled for 15:00.Teams:Cheetahs:
15 Willie le Roux, 14 Cornal Hendricks, 13 Johann Sadie, 12 Rayno Benjamin, 11 Hennie Daniller, 10 Johan Goosen, 9 Sarel Pretorius, 8 Jean Cook, 7 Lappies Labuschagné, 6 Boom Prinsloo, 5 Francois Uys, 4, Lodewyk de Jager, 3 Maks van Dyk, 2 Adriaan Strauss (captain), Trevor Nyakane
Substitutes: 16 Ryno Barnes, 17 Caylib Oosthuizen, 18 Rossouw de Klerk, 19 Andries Ferreira, 20 Teboho Mohoje, 21 Shaun Venter, 22 Elgar Watts, 23 Howard MnisiChiefs: