The Toyota Free State Cheetahs will be led by the scrumhalf, Tian Meyer, this weekend when they face Western Province in the third round of the Currie Cup.
Meyer takes over as the team’s captain with the centre, Francois Venter, side-lined with an ankle injury.
Aranos Coetzee gets a start at tighthead prop while Tom Botha has been moved to the bench along with the in-form Ox Nche who is battling with a slight niggle.
Nico Lee returns from an eye injury he picked up against the Western Province and will start at outside centre alongside William Small-Smith.
Coach Franco Smith has also named eight players on the bench in order to give injured players more time to recover.
The Cheetahs enter the match on a high following their outstanding win over the Blue Bulls, but the stand-in skipper, Meyer, told Courant that Province cannot be underestimated.
“Regardless whether or not there are changes, rugby is different every week, each game is different depending on if their pitch up on the day.
“We’ve got to prepare for them being at their best and at the end of the day that what we want to.
“We want to play our best rugby, so we’ve got to focus on our rugby and well with whatever comes our way.
“But each week will be different, it was rugby, but we are preparing for them to come at us with their best.”
Friday evening’s clash between Western Province and the Free State Cheetahs at Newlands kicks off at 19:10.
Western Province – 15 Jaco Taute, 14 Kobus van Wyk, 13 Johnny Kotze, 12 Huw Jones, 11 Leolin Zas, 10 Brandon Thomson, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 7 Kobus van Dyk, 6 Rynhardt Elstadt, 5 Chris van Zyl (captain), 4 Jan de Klerk, 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Scarra Ntubeni, 1 Alistair Vermaak.
Replacements – 16 Martin Ferreira, 17 JC Janse van Rensburg, 18 JP Smith, 19 Jurie van Vuuren, 20 Godlen Masimla, 21 Robert du Preez, 22 Cheslin Kolbe.
Toyota Free State Cheetahs – 15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Rayno Benjamin, 13 Nico Lee, 12 William Small-Smith, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Fred Zeilinga, 9 Tian Meyer (captain) 8 Niell Jordaan, 7 Uzair Cassiem, 6 Tier Schoeman, 5 Reniel Hugo (vice-captain), 4 Carl Wegner, 3 Aranos Coetzee, 2 Jacques du Toit, 1 Charles Marais.
Replacements – 16 Torsten van Jaarsveld, 17 Ox Nche, 18 Tom Botha, 19 Justin Basson, 20 Henco Venter, 21 Shaun Venter, 22 Niel Marais, 23 Michael van der Spuy. – MORGAN PIEK