The Cheetahs make three changes for Cape Town battle

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MORGAN PIEK

The Toyota Cheetahs will see the return of flyhalf Joe Pietersen and scrumhalf Sarel Pretorius this weekend when the side tackles the Stormers in Cape Town.

In addition to the halfback combination returning, the side also welcomes back flank Tienie Burger after recovering from concussion.

However, there is still no Lood de Jager in the mix and the Springbok lock could return against the Waratahs next week.

Tian Meyer, who has been starting at scrumhalf in the absence of Pretorius retains his starting role, with the latter warming the bench.

Pietersen starts in the pivot role, replacing Francois Brummer who has dropped out of the squad. Coenie van Wyk who had a fairly decent game with the boot during last weeks’ 40-17 loss to the Lions will deputise for Pietersen.

Former Springbok U20 wing, Sergeal Petersen regains his starting role with Springbok Cornal Hendricks being dropped on merit as is the case with Brummer and Carel Greeff.

The versatile Henco Venter, who came in as a replacement for Burger, retains the number 20 jersey, with Greeff dropped.

While the season is gone for the Cheetahs, a second this season over the Stormers in the 2015 campaign can properly upset the applecart for the South African conference leaders.

The Cheetahs have pride at stake and will look to impress incoming coach Franco Smith.

Outgoing coach Naka Drotské who will guide the team for the last time this weekend warned his team their careers are on the line.

"We discussed that earlier this week, it’s their job. They’re playing for a new coach, they’re playing for a new contract next year.

“A lot of them chose to play rugby and not to study or do any other business opportunities so they’ve got to provide for their wives and children one day," said the former Springbok hooker.

"To me it’s unacceptable for a player to say they’re not motivated anymore. They are here and they need to play for their future," he added.

The last time these two side met was on 2 May, with the Cheetahs beating the Stormers 25-17. However, their last clash in Cape Town saw the Stormers hammer the visitors 33-0.

Saturday’s match at Newlands kicks off at 17:05.

Toyota Cheetahs – 15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Francois Venter, 12 Michael van der Spuy, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Joe Pietersen, 9 Tian Meyer, 8 Willie Britz, 7 Boom Prinsloo, 6 Tienie Burger, 5 Francois Uys (captain), 4 Carl Wegner, 3 Maks van Dyk, 2 Torsten van Jaarsveld, 1 Danie Minnie.

Replacements – 16 Stephan Coetzee, 17 BG Uys, 18 Ewald van der Westhuizen, 19 Steven Sykes, 20 Henco Venter, 20 Sarel Pretorius, 21 Coenie van Wyk, 22 Rayno Benjamin.