LIVE

    Franco happy to trial scrumhalf on the wing

    2017-03-10 12:26

    Cape Town - Cheetahs coach Franco Smith is confident that Zee Mkhabela, normally a scrumhalf, will function well on the wing.

    Mkhabela was picked at right wing for Saturday’s Super Rugby clash against the Sunwolves in Bloemfontein, as injuries forced the hand of the Cheetahs mentor.

    Rayno Benjamin moves from wing to outside centre in place of Nico Lee, who picked up a shoulder injury in last weekend’s 34-28 win over the Bulls.

    Twenty-two-year-old Mkhabela normally plays behind the scrum, but Smith - who also coached the player during his time as Shimlas coach - is looking forward to what Mkhabela can do on the wing this weekend.

    “I’ve worked with Zee from the Varsity Cup. I’ve always taught the scrumhalves to play wing as well. I’ve always put in effort with him and Shaun Venter and Ruan van Rensburg. Ruan played wing in all our warm-up games. So the idea was always to have a second No 9 on the field,” Smith said after naming his team on Thursday.

    At 1.67m and 80kg, Mkhabela is small to be playing out on the wing, but Smith stressed that he’s not much smaller than the injured Sergeal Petersen, who is listed as 1.71m and 82kg.

    “Zee was brilliant at wing in our (warm-up) match against the Griffons. He’s (about) the same height as Sergeal (Petersen). It’s not like he’s much shorter and it gives one the opportunity to see what he can do there,” Smith said.

    “We have a few injuries in that position, so it did force our hand a bit, but I have full confidence that he’ll be able to do the job for us there. I’m looking forward to seeing him play.”

    Saturday’s clash is scheduled for 17:15.

    Teams:

    Cheetahs

    15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Zee Mkhabela, 13 Rayno Benjamin, 12 Clinton Swart, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Fred Zeilinga, 9 Tian Meyer, 8 Niell Jordaan, 7 Oupa Mohoje, 6 Paul Schoeman, 5 Francois Uys, 4 Justin Basson, 3 Johan Coetzee, 2 Torsten van Jaarsveld (captain), 1 Charles Marais
        
    Substitutes: 16 Danie Mienie, 17 Elandre Huggett, 18 Tom Botha, 19 Armandt Koster, 20 Henco Venter, 21 Niel Marais, 22 Ali Mgijima, 23 Ruan van Rensburg

    Sunwolves

    15 Shota Emi, 14 Takaaki Nakazuru, 13 William Tupou, 12 Derek Carpenter, 11 Kenki Fukuoka, 10 Hayden Cripps, 9 Keisuke Uchida, 8 Willie Britz, 7 Shumei Matsuhashi, 6 Ed Quirk (captain), 5 Uwe Hela, 4 Liaki Moli, 3 Yasuo Yamaji, 2 Yusuke Niwai, 1 Koki Yamamoto

    Substitutes: 16 Atsushi Sakate, 17 Masataka Mikami, 18 Takuma Asahara, 19 Sam Wykes, 20 Shokei Kin, 21 Kaito Shigeno, 22 Jumpei Ogura, 23 Jamie-Jerry Taulagi


    What To Read Next

    Read News24’s Comments Policy

    Live Video Streaming
    Sport Talk

    Results

    04 August 2018
    28 July 2018
    21 July 2018
    20 July 2018
    14 July 2018
    13 July 2018
    07 July 2018
    06 July 2018
    30 June 2018
    29 June 2018
    03 June 2018
    02 June 2018
    01 June 2018
    26 May 2018
    25 May 2018
    19 May 2018
    18 May 2018
    12 May 2018
    11 May 2018
    05 May 2018
    04 May 2018
    28 April 2018
    27 April 2018
    22 April 2018
    21 April 2018
    20 April 2018
    14 April 2018
    13 April 2018
    07 April 2018
    06 April 2018
    01 April 2018
    31 March 2018
    30 March 2018
    24 March 2018
    23 March 2018
    18 March 2018
    17 March 2018
    16 March 2018
    10 March 2018
    09 March 2018
    03 March 2018
    02 March 2018
    24 February 2018
    23 February 2018
    17 February 2018

    Logs

    Rank Team P W Pts
    • Lions (Q)
    • Jaguares (wc)
    • Sharks (wc)
    • Stormers
    • Bulls

    Opinion Poll

    Who will win the 2018 Rugby Championships?

    Can you name the top Super Rugby tryscorers of all-time?

    TAKE THE QUIZ
    There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.