Cheetahs unchanged for tour opener

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Sergeal Petersen PHOTO: NICOLETTE TALJAARD

The Toyota Cheetahs have named an unchanged start XV for their Super Rugby clash against the Melbourne Rebels on Friday.

The only change to the match 23 sees prop, Luan de Bruin, return to the bench in the place of Aranos Coetzee.

The Cheetahs are feeling quietly confident heading into their first match on tour. They tackle the Melbourne Rebels on Friday night.

The team departed for down-under with a renewed confidence following their 92-17 drubbing of the Sunwolves of Japan last week.

The Rebels are the strongest of the three teams they will be facing on tour with the team having won four of their seven games thus far.

The Cheetahs have a good record against the Melbournians with three wins in their last four matches, however, lost their last encounter 35-14 in 2014.

Springbok lock, Lood de Jager, believes they can beat the Rebels, Reds and Waratahs but warned that it won’t be a walk in the park.

Flyhalf Niel Marais told OFM Sport from Melbourne that they want to start building on their continuity.

“I think we took a lot of confidence out of the Sunwolves game and definitely looking to build on that.

“Hopefully we’ll take a few wins home from the Australian tour.

“We definitely want to build some momentum before we come back and play the Kings back home, have a bye week and then play the Stormers before the international break.

“We’re really looking forward to this weekend and hoping to do well.”

Friday morning’s match at AAMI Park kicks off at 11:45.

Toyota Cheetahs – Toyota Cheetahs – 15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Nico Lee, 12 Francois Venter (captain), 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Niel Marais, 9 Shaun Venter, 8 Paul Schoeman, 7 Uzair Cassiem, 6 Hilton Lobberts, 5 Francois Uys, 4 Lood de Jager, 3 Maks van Dyk, 2 Torsten van Jaarsveld, 1 Charles Marais.

Replacements – 16 Jacques du Toit, 17 Danie Minnie, 18 Luan de Bruin, 19 Carl Wegner, 20 Henco Venter, 21 Oupa Mohoje, 22 Tian Meyer, 23 Fred Zeilinga. –

MORGAN PIEK