Oosthuizen back at loosehead
Cheetahs coach Naka Drotské, as was expected, named an all-Springbok front row to take on the Bulls in Bloemfontein on Saturday.
Free State Cheetahs coach Naka Drotské, as was expected, named an all-Springbok front row to take on the Blue Bulls in Bloemfontein on Saturday.
However, the most noteworthy selection for this Currie Cup crunch match is the decision to name Coenie Oosthuizen at loosehead prop.
The burly front row forward, who is in the process of converting back to tighthead where he played most of his school career, will be joined by Bok hooker Adriaan Strauss and discarded Bok prop Trevor Nyakane.
Nyakane and Oosthuizen can both play either side of the scrum and the Cheetahs coach, Drotské, opted to return Oosthuizen to the loosehead side after his stints in the No.3 jersey for both the Cheetahs and Boks this year.
Strauss reclaims the captaincy from Johannes Prinsloo, who moves from No.8 to the side of the scrum.
Philip Van der Walt comes in at No 8, while Teboho Mohoje moves to the bench.
In the only change to the backline from the team that beat Griquas 52-21, fit-again Sevens Bok Rayno Benjamin replaces Piet Lindeque at right wing.
The Cheetahs are currently third of the log and need a win to secure third place. A solitary bonus point will book their semifinal spot.
The Lions are one point behind them in fourth spot, but the men from Johannesburg host the struggling Griquas on Saturday and are expected to claim maximum points.
Therefore - should the Lions do just that - the only way the Cheetahs could fall out of the top four is if the Bulls beat them with a bonus point and at the same time prevent the Cheetahs from getting any points themselves.
The Bulls are currently five points behind the Cheetahs in fifth spot.
Free State Cheetahs: 15 Hennie Daniller, 14 Rayno Benjamin, 13 Johann Sadie, 12 Robert Ebersohn, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Elgar Watts, 9 Sarel Pretorius, 8 Philip van der Walt, 7 Pieter Labuschagné, 6 Johannes Prinsloo, 5 Lodewyk de Jager, 4 Francois Uys, 3 Trevor Nyakane, 2 Adriaan Strauss (captain), 1 Coenie Oosthuizen.
Replacements: 16 AJ le Roux, 17 Schalk van der Merwe, 18 Freddie Ngoza, 19 Teboho Mohoje, 20 Piet van Zyl, 21 Piet Lindeque, 22 Willie du Plessis.
Date: Saturday, October 12
Venue: Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein
Kick-off: 17.05 (15.05 GMT)
Referee: Marius Jonker
Assistant referees: Quinton Immelman, Francois de Bruin
TMO: Gerrie Coetzee