Cheetahs name strong teams for Sharks warm-ups

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Nico Lee - PHOTO: BRADLEY KANARIS

The Toyota Cheetahs have named two reasonably strong teams for their Super Rugby warm-up matches against the Sharks in Umlazi on Friday.

At 17:00 the team in white will be in action and the side includes the likes of, among others, Joubert Engelbrecht, Fred Zeilinga, Tian Meyer, Junior Pokomela, Boom Prinsloo, Francois Uys and Ox Nche.

The Cheetahs new and exciting player, Ryno Eksteen, will be running out at fullback for the match. Pokomela in his turn is another one of the team’s new acquisitions and a lot is expected of the Springbok U20 player this season.

At 18:30 it’s the turn of the team in orange and on paper this is probably the stronger of the two sides which will feature the bulk of the players expected to play in the Super Rugby.

The players who will feature in this game includes Clayton Blommetjies, Sergeal Petersen, Nico Lee, Niel Marias, Niell Jordaan, Uzair Cassiem, Tier Schoeman, Reniel Hugo, Torsten van Jaarsveld and Charles Marais.

The former Griquas flyhalf and centre, Clinton Swart, will be playing as well and will form the midfield combination with the exciting Nico Lee. Swart, of course, was linked with a move to the Sharks, but instead made the move to the City of Roses.

Earlier in the week the Cheetahs coach, Franco Smith, told OFM Sport that the scoreboard bears no significance to them.

“Warm-up games are exactly what it says, it’s all about warming up and trying new things and doing something different,” said the former Springbok utility back.

“Physical preparation is important. We’re less than a month away from the first game.

“We know that this is going to be a really tough year so we are conditioning differently and we are trying to do things differently, which will influence our reaction speed and other small things.

“We see this as a training run, as we did with the match in Harare. We are all very competitive and we all felt that it’s a pity that there must be a scoreline for a warm-up game because it’s absolutely not what it’s about.

“We are definitely not interested in the results, what we are interested in is the video footage from last week and this week and we will use that to our benefit.”

The second of the two warm-up matches at King Zwelithini Stadium in Umlazi kicks off at 18:30 and will be televised.

Cheetahs White team – 15 Ryno Eksteen, 14 JP Smith, 13 Joubert Engelbrecht, 12 Ali Mgijima, 11 Ruan van Rensburg, 10 Fred Zeilinga, 9 Tian Meyer, 8 Junior Pokomela, 7 Oupa Mohoje, 6 Boom Prinsloo, 5 Francois Uys, 4 Dennis Visser, 3 Erich de Jager, 2 Elandré Huggett, 1 Ox Nche.

Cheetahs Orange team – 15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Nico Lee, 12 Clinton Swart, 11 Rayno Benjamin, 10 Niel Marias, 9 Shaun Venter, 8 Niell Jordaan, 7 Uzair Cassiem, 6 Tier Schoeman, 5 Reniel Hugo, 4 Armandt Koster, 3 Aranos Coetzee, 2 Torsten van Jaarsveld, 1 Charles Marais. – MORGAN PIEK