Swanepoel to debut against Province

Dries Swanepoel PHOTO: MORGAN PIEK

The Toyota Free State Cheetahs have made seven changes to their starting XV which will face Western Province on Saturday in round two of the Currie Cup.

Dries Swanepoel will make his Cheetahs debut at centre, alongside Nico Lee, while Louis Fouché starts at flyhalf. Tian Meyer will form the halfback pairing with Fouché.

Up front, Aidon Davis, is also on debut and will play in the loose trio with the captain, Oupa Mohoje and Jasper Wiese.

Gunter Janse van Vuuren starts at tighthead prop in the place of Luan de Bruin, who moves to the bench.

With JP du Preez unavailable due to a liver infection earlier in the week, Dennis Visser has been named in the second-row for the match.

Ernst Stapelberg has been included on the bench for the clash.

The coach Daan Human told Courant that Swanepoel will bring a lot of experience to the backline.

“First of all, I would just like to say that Benhard Janse van Rensburg played very well during the entire SuperSport Rugby Challenge campaign. He deserved to play last weekend.

“Obviously now with Dries coming in everyone is excited, and as Franco (Smith) said we want to make a couple of changes going forward.

“Everybody is quite excited, but Dries and Nico haven’t played together yet.

“It will be very interesting. I think Dries can add a lot of experience.”

The Cheetahs are under quite a bit of pressure to earn an away win this week after their defeat to the Blue Bulls in Bloemfontein on Friday. Province in their turn will be playing their first game of the campaign on Saturday.

Saturday’s clash at Newlands in Cape Town kicks off at 17:15.

Western Province – 15 SP Marais, 14 JJ Engelbrecht, 13 Ruhan Nel, 12 Dan Kriel, 11 Dillyn Leyds (captain), 10 Josh Stander, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 Juarno Augustus, 7 Kobus van Dyk, 6 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 5 JD Schickerling, 4 Salmaan Moerat, 3 Michael Kumbirai, 2 Scarra Ntubeni, 1 Ali Vermaak.

Replacements – 16 Chad Solomon, 17 Caylib Oosthuizen, 18 Neethling Fouche, 19 Ernst van Rhyn, 20 Herschel Jantjies, 21 Dan du Plessis, 22 Sergeal Petersen.

Toyota Free State Cheetahs – 15 Malcolm Jaer, 14 Rabs Maxwane, 13 Dries Swanepoel, 12 Nico Lee, 11 William Small-Smith, 10 Louis Fouché, 9 Tian Meyer, 8 Aidon Davis, 7 Oupa Mohoje (captain), 6 Jasper Wiese, 5 Dennis Visser, 4 Justin Basson, 3 Günter Janse van Vuuren, 2 Joseph Dweba, 1 Ox Nche.

Replacements – 16 Jacques du Toit, 17 Erich de Jager, 18 Luan de Bruin, 19 Stephan Malan, 20 Junior Pokomela, 21 Shaun Venter, 22 Ernst Stapelberg. – MORGAN PIEK