Perth-bound flyhalf Sias Ebersohn will get a rare start for the Free State Cheetahs, with coach Naka Drotské wielding a heavy axe ahead of Friday's Currie Cup Round Two showdown with the Blue Bulls.
Ebersohn, the twin brother of Cheetahs captain and centre Robert, will make his first start for the Bloemfontein side since his Super Rugby shocker against the Stormers at Newlands in May.
He initially came into the starting XV after a shoulder injury ruled Johan Goosen out for the season. Ebersohn missed a kick from in front against the Highlanders and the next week, with his confidence shattered, lost the plot altogether.
He has since been playing behind utility back Riaan Smit, who himself had a very disappointing performance in the 20-43 loss to the Golden Lions last week.
The inclusion of Ebersohn at No.10 is one of seven changes to the under-performing Cheetahs team.
He will be partnered at halfback by Sarel Pretorius, who played Super Rugby for the Waratahs this season, but is available to the Cheetahs for the Currie Cup season.
Pretorius, who made his Currie Cup debut for the Cheetahs off the bench last week, is one of four backline changes.
Riaan Smit, after his stint at No.10 in recent months, returns to the wing - which most pundits feel is his best position. Shimlas ace Nico Scheepers drops out of the matchday 22 altogether. In a final change to the backline, Barry Geel gets a start ahead of Andries Strauss at inside centre.
One of the changes, at loose forward, has been necessitated by flank Johannes 'Boom' Prinsloo's shoulder injury..
Frans Viljoen, back in Bloemfontein after his stint for the Aironi club in Italy, will start in Prinsloo's place. Forgotten Springbok Lucas Floors starts at No.8, in place of fellow Bok Davon Raubenheimer, who drops down to the replacements bench.
At lock, the physical Andries Ferreira will start ahead of Waltie Vermeulen.
Free State Cheetahs: 15 Hennie Daniller, 14 Riaan Smit, 13 Robert Ebersohn (captain), 12 Barry Geel, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Sias Ebersohn, 9 Sarel Pretorius, 8 Kabamba Floors, 7 Pieter Labuschagne, 6 Frans Viljoen, 5 Izak van der Westhuizen, 4 Andries Ferreira, 3 Marcel van der Merwe, 2 Hercu Liebenberg, 1 Trevor Nyakane.
Replacements: 16 Elandré Huggett, 17 Schalk van Merwe, 18 Francois Uys, 19 Davon Raubenheimer, 20 Piet van Zyl, 21 Philip Snyman, 22 Nico Scheepers.
Date: Friday, August 17
Venue: Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein
Kick-off: 19.10 (17.10 GMT)
Referee: Sindile Mayende
Assistant referees: Marius Jonker, Reuben Rossouw
TMO: Gerrie Coetzee