Bloemfontein – Free State Cheetahs coach Rory Duncan has made three positional changes to his side for their Currie Cup match with the Blue Bulls at the Free State Stadium, in Bloemfontein, on Friday evening.
With good momentum after beating the Eastern Province Kings in Port Elizabeth over the weekend, the Cheetahs will take heart from the fact that Super Rugby stalwarts Coenie Oosthuizen, Jean Cook and Rayno Benjamin have all recovered from injuries and will feature against the Bulls.
“We are really happy that guys like Coenie, Jean and Rayno are back in the setup. They are all experienced players that will add spice to the side,” Duncan said.
“Coenie will be a huge boost with regards to the scrums, while we all know what Rayno is capable of on attack and defence. We will also need the physicality that Jean brings to the table, as we expect a tough physical battle against the Bulls.”
With the return of first-choice starters in the starting line-up, prop Caylib Oosthuizen, flanker Niel Claassen and winger JP du Plessis all move to the bench, from where they will no doubt make an impact against the Bulls.
In the only other changes to the bench, the Cheetahs welcome back hooker Hercu Liebenberg after an injury, while lock Werner Lourens gets the nod ahead of Brendon Groenewald.
“We are glad that Hercu is back as he gives us much needed depth at hooker.
“We decided on Werner rather than Brendon because we feel that Werner slots nicely into the game plan we want to play against the Bulls.”
The Cheetahs team: Clayton Blommetjies, Rayno Benjamin, Francois Venter, Joubert Engelbrecht, Raymond Rhule, Willie du Plessis, Sarel Pretorius, Jean Cook, Lappies Labuschagne, Tienie Burger, Francois Uys, Henco Venter, George Marich, Torsten van Jaarsveld (captain), Coenie Oosthuizen.
Replacements: Hercu Liebenberg, Caylib Oosthuizen, Werner Lourens, Neil Claassen, Shaun Venter, Pieter-Steyn de Wet, JP du Plessis. – Sapa