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Super Sarel starts against Chiefs

Wed, 27 Feb 2013 08:29
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Francis answers Cheetahs SOS
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Veteran scrumhalf Sarel Pretorius will start for the Cheetahs against the Chiefs in their Super Rugby showdown in Hamilton on Saturday.

Pretorius for Piet van Zyl at No.9 is the only change to the starting XV, with the more season scrumhalf getting a run after coming off the bench in the 22-29 loss to the Sharks last week.

It also means Springbok prop Coenie Oosthuizen will again play off the bench as he slowly works his way back to full fitness after a succession of neck and back injuries in 2012, which eventually ruled him out of the year-end tour.

The bench shows a couple of changes, most notably Riaan Smith in for the Elgar Watts.

Rynhard Landman also replaces Waltie Vermeulen on the bench. Vermeulen injured his knee against the Sharks an a scan revealed ligament damage that requires surgery.

Landman was called up straight after the game and departed on tour with the Cheetahs the next day.

Cheetahs team manager Eugene van Wyk confirmed that Griquas flyhalf Burton Francis will fly in to replace Elgar Watts in the touring group, after the latter pulled a hamstring in training on Monday.

Watts will fly home on Thursday.

Francis will not feature in this week's matchday squad, as he will arrive too late and Smith will fill the utility back slot on the bench.

Francis has played bit-part roles for the Bulls, Stormers and Lions - without ever really managing to establish himself.

The 26-year-old, who occasionally operates as a fullback, was initially named in the Kings squad for the 2013 Super Rugby season, but was released after failing a medical test following a shoulder injury.

He subsequently joined Griquas for the 2013 Vodacom Cup season and has now been given a new lease on his rugby life.

Cheetahs: 15 Hennie Daniller, 14 Willie le Roux, 13 Johann Sadie, 12 Robert Ebersohn, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Johan Goosen, 9 Sarel Pretorius, 8 Philip van der Walt, 7 Pieter Labuschagne, 6 Frans Viljoen, 5 Francois Uys, 4 Lodewyk de Jager, 3 Lourens Adriaanse, 2 Adriaan Strauss (captain), 1 Trevor Nyakane.
Replacements: 16 Ryno Barnes, 17 Coenie Oosthuizen, 18 Rynhard Landman, 19 Johannes Prinsloo, 20 Piet van Zyl, 21 Riaan Smith, 22 Ryno Benjamin.

Date: Saturday, March 2
Venue: Waikato Stadium, Hamilton
Kick-Off:  19.35 (08.35 SA time; 06.35 GMT)
Referee: Mike Fraser (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Garratt Williamson (New Zealand), Glen Jackson (New Zealand)
TMO: Vinny Munro (New Zealand)

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