Pienaar to captain the Cheetahs, Volmink and Koen on debut

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Ruan Pienaar PHOTO: MORGAN PIEK

The seasoned Springbok scrumhalf, Ruan Pienaar, will captain the Toyota Cheetahs on Friday evening in the opening game of the Guinness PRO14 against the Glasgow Warriors in Bloemfontein.

The seasoned Springbok scrumhalf, Ruan Pienaar, will captain the Toyota Cheetahs on Friday evening in the opening game of the Guinness PRO14 against the Glasgow Warriors in Bloemfontein.

Tian Meyer who captained the Free State during the Currie Cup has been named on the bench for the clash.

As Meyer played on the wing in the Currie Cup, it means that Anthony Volmink will be on debut for the Cheetahs and will don the number 11 jersey.

In the only other to the starting XV team which played against the Golden Lions in the Currie Cup final, Rhyno Smith, will start at fullback in the place of Clayton Blommetjies.

Smith previously played for the Cheetahs as a loan player from the Sharks.

On the bench, Luan de Bruin, makes his return as cover at tighthead prop following a long-term injury, while the Griquas loan player, Sias Koen, will also be on debut.

Koen will provide cover for the backrow, and it will also be the big man’s first appearance at a level of rugby higher than the Currie Cup.

Koen told OFM Sport that he has been waiting for this opportunity for a long time.

“You know I have been waiting so long for an opportunity like this, and it’s definitely going to be a step up from Currie Cup rugby.

“I think that the Cheetahs are in a good space at the moment and they are playing excellent rugby.

“So I’m definitely very keen to test myself at a higher level.  It’s going to hard, but I’m very grateful for an opportunity like this.”

Friday evening’s PRO14 clash between the Cheetahs and Glasgow Warriors at the Toyota Stadium kicks off at 19:05.

Toyota Cheetahs – 15 Rhyno Smith, 14 William Small-Smith, 13 Benhard Janse van Rensburg, 12 Dries Swanepoel, 11 Anthony Volmink, 10 Tian Schoeman, 9 Ruan Pienaar (captain), 8 Henco Venter, 7 Junior Pokomela, 6 Gerhard Olivier, 5 Walt Steenkamp, 4 Sintu Manjezi, 3 Erich de Jager, 2 Joseph Dweba, 1 Ox Nche.

Replacements – 16 Boan Venter, 17 Reinach Venter, 18 Luan de Bruin, 19 JP du Preez, 20 Sias Koen, 21 Jasper Wiese, 22 Tian Meyer, 23 Louis Fouché. – MORGAN PIEK